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Author feature: The Harveys August 11, 2016

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 5. News, Maurice and Lorraine Harvey.
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the-harveys

Castle authors Lorraine and Maurice Harvey have done a lot in their lives – enough to fill four books (so far!).

The Harveys have been married for over 50 years – they married on the mission field in Africa – and during that time have been to many far-flung places.

Maurice is most famous for his work as the photojournalist for the United Bible Societies. He has visited 160 countries, territories and disputed territories – making him one of NZ’s most travelled people. His books Shooting the Globe, Reading the Funny Bible and Into the Great Unknown are packed with the stories of his adventures.

Lorraine has also been busy. As well as raising two children, she became a skilled Bible teacher, and over the years has been involved with Christian Women’s Fellowship and Christian Women Communicating International, amongst other Christian initiatives. Earlier this year Lorraine released A Handful of Streamers.

Lorraine and Maurice have been based in Africa, Fiji, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and the UK. They now live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Castle is massively privileged to have worked with the Harveys. They are a prime example of the unassuming yet extraordinary Christian New Zealanders we love.

Christmas Gift Guide 2015 December 7, 2015

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 5. News.
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christmas-2015-clusterHere’s our 2015 Christmas gift and summer reading guide…

Books make great gifts. Something for you or something for someone you love, here are six high-quality, highly recommended New Zealand books, new and recent releases, with a great message, and brought to you by Castle…

Forgiveness: The biography of Ferdinand Christiaan Hansen, by Jocelyn Judd. The gripping and gritty true story of a Dutch child sent to a Japanese concentration camp in Indonesia during WW2. A hard-hitting and emotional story with an element of adventure; a book about survival and redemption. Ideal for male and female adult readers. Hot off the press. Only NZ$24.95. Here.

Ripples in the Water, by Clare Matravers. A real and powerful work of contemporary fiction. Sapphire Nord, a first year university student, is in trouble – BIG trouble and doesn’t know what to do. Her life is touched by tragedy, romance, an illness and faith before she encounters a mysterious woman with a huge secret – one that will change her life forever… Recommended primarily for a female audience, but with compelling storytelling for all readers. Only NZ$24.95. Here.

For the Love of Christmas, by Heather McCall. Faith – Flowers – Food – the quintessential guide to making your Christmas beautiful. This full-colour coffee-table style book is equal parts practical resource and stunning gift. Complete with thoughts about rediscovering the true meaning of Christmas, recipes and decorating ideas – for this Christmas and many Christmases to come. For those who love to cook, decorate and entertain. Only NZ$39.95. Here (including a link to see inside the book).

It’s Okay to Die, by The Dando Family. As featured on Rhema. With its bold title, this book certainly stops us in our tracks. It tells the story of Shirley and Graeme Dando and their cancer journey, as they seek physical healing and grow in their faith and trust no matter what transpires. Vital and inspirational reading that takes us inside a personal story of faith in the tough times and asks the big questions about God in our lives. Recommended for adult readers of all ages. Only NZ$26.95. Here.

The Wonder of It All, by Evelyn Lalahi. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, two boys spend a wonderful day with their Gran – having fun, learning all about the amazing God who created them, and finding out how they can know Him. A warm-hearted story of family love and the love and awesomeness of God. Softcover with 16 pages of full-colour illustrations. Suitable for 4 to 8 year olds. Reading age 6+. Only NZ$9.95. Here (including a link to see inside the book).

Water Under the Bridge, by Don Barry. Published this year and now in its third printing, the top-selling title of 2015. This is the story of lessons learnt – with some blood, sweat and tears – during 40 years of pastoral ministry. With sincere honesty, Don Barry (Gateway, Hamilton) lays open his challenges, failures and successes, taking us on a journey into values-shaped leadership. Recommended for those interested in church life and pastoral leadership. Only NZ$24.95. Here.

For all these, and more, head over to the new releases page on the Castle website. To safely ensure pre-Christmas delivery in NZ, order on or before Monday 21 December.

Christmas and Summer Reading Gift Guide 2013 December 6, 2013

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 5. News.
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Here’s a round-up of new and recent releases from Castle that we think will make great Christmas gifts and reading for your summer holiday. As always, everything is home-grown right here in New Zealand…

Christmas and summer selection

 

Mrs Shepherd’s Oven, by Patsy Nealon. For kids, age 4-9.

Mrs Shepherd has pies to bake for her knitting group. She is not happy because her brick oven has fallen down. What will she do? The quirky and fun adventures of a family of shepherds whose story touches on, and coincides with, the Christmas story. Great reading for all year round, and for general (as well as Christian) audiences. Illustrated throughout with water colour cartoon pictures that kids will love. Softcover, 22 pages full colour. A Castle Kids book! NZ$17.95. More info, view a sample or purchase here. (Or ask for it at your local Christian bookshop.)

Your Secret World, by Brian Goodwin. General adult.

This book examines your ‘secret world’ – the inner workings of your heart, soul and mind – and shows just how important they are in your everyday life. With compassion, insight and love, Brian Goodwin explains what ‘makes us tick’, looking at the things that spark our desire or hold us back, and opening us up to a heart to heart relationship with the Creator and others. Your Secret World draws on a wealth of biblical wisdom and the work of other Christian authors. Available as a printed book or ebook. NZ$26.95 (ebook US$9.99). More info, view a sample or purchase here. (Or ask for it at your local Christian bookshop.)

The True Adventures of Lucy the Hen, by Daphne Joy. For kids, age 4-9.

In the chicken run, there is no one else quite like Lucy! Lucy is a very clever and special hen. In this beautifully illustrated full colour picture book, Daphne Joy tells us some of Lucy’s true life adventures. Each story concludes with ‘Learning with Lucy’ – bite-sized thoughts that apply the things that Lucy learns to our everyday lives. Softcover, 28 pages full colour. A Castle Kids book! NZ$14.95. More info, view a sample or purchase here. (Or ask for it at your local Christian bookshop.)

To Rise Above, by Julianne Jones. Young adult and general adult historical fiction.

Katie, Samuel and Rhiannon have settled into a distant land but soon their faith will be tested beyond anything they had ever imagined… Julianne Jones’s superb second historical novel. A story of drama, romance and intrigue set in colonial New South Wales. Great reading for teenagers and adults. Available as a printed book or ebook. NZ$24.95 (ebook US$9.99). More info or purchase here. (Or ask for it at your local Christian bookshop.)

Into the Heart of PNG, by Kay Liddle. General adult.

In 1952 Kay Liddle waded ashore on the northern coast of New Guinea – the start of a lifelong relationship with that remarkable country. This is Kay’s personal story of years spent in service and partnership. It is filled with the difficulties, challenges and rewards of a dramatic life of mission. It is also the story of Christianity taking root and transforming the lives of ordinary Papuans – sharing the Good News, seeing whole groups of people move towards God, establishing churches, and training leaders. Available as a printed book or ebook. NZ$27.95 (ebook US$9.99). More info or purchase here. (Or ask for it at your local Christian bookshop.) Also available: Book Two.

Get Real, by Jill Stanley. General adult.

Real excerpts from an ordinary life in the hand of an extraordinary God. Jill Stanley’s real life story grabs and transports you from her quaint English village to Europe’s pulsating cities, and across both Atlantic and Pacific oceans to a remote island in the South Pacific. A transparent, brutally honest record of human passions, mistakes, flaws and sincere attempts to find lasting peace and truth. With hilarious adventures and powerful encounters, Jill will surely disarm and entertain you along the way. Available as a printed book or ebook. NZ$26.95 (ebook US$9.99). More info or purchase here. (Or ask for it at your local Christian bookshop.)

To see the complete line-up of our new and recent releases, visit the Castle website. Our catalogue contains an amazing range of books.

Introducing Castle Kids November 26, 2013

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 5. News.
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Castle Publishing has great pleasure in announcing an all-new imprint – Castle Kids.

Castle Kids logoThis idea has been in the pipeline for quite a while. Castle has a strong belief that New Zealand authors have a unique point of view, and we knew that while we had been demonstrating this in the area of general non-fiction for some time, we needed to expand this vision into children’s publishing as well.

For some time, the Castle Kids concept had been awaiting the right product. We got our feet wet assisting Mike de Vetter with his wonderful Rose Princess book and with Lyndon Douglas’s remarkable Debbie Dart book. Then, this year, two books came along at around the same time that pushed the idea forward.

These two books are Daphne Joy’s The True Adventures of Lucy the Hen and Pasty Nealon’s Mrs Shepherd’s Oven. Both are beautifully (but very differently) illustrated and both tell the kinds of endearing stories that parents love to read to their children and that children love to hear.

We hope to bring you more Castle Kids books heading in 2014 and beyond, but meantime be sure to check out these two new titles (here and here) – they make excellent Christmas gifts.

Self-publishing success story: The Gospel in Ten Words May 8, 2013

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 4. Castle Distributed Books, The Gospel in Ten Words.
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the-gospel-in-ten-words_lgFor ten years Paul Ellis pastored a multicultural church in Hong Kong. He was also a professor at one of Asia’s leading business schools. Then he decided to return home to New Zealand to pursue his passion for writing and study, and even more importantly, to convey a message of God’s amazing grace and love through the written word.

He began writing a blog, escapetoreality.org, which grew to having a large and dedicated following all around the world. Then he published his first book – The Gospel in Ten Words. The book is described like this: “At a time when many are hearing mixed messages about the love of God, The Gospel in Ten Words is a welcome reminder of the good news revealed by Jesus. It is an invitation to return to the unmixed and liberating gospel of the apostles. This book will take you to the heavenly treasure rooms of grace and leave you awestruck at the stunning goodness of God… you will come face to face with the One who has called you to the thrilling adventure of living loved.”

Paul has been extremely proactive about reaching a growing number of people. In the nine months since he published his book, he has sold over 5000 copies – a superb result, and sales are continuing to grow. To give you an idea of just how promising this number of sales is – in New Zealand a non-fiction title currently reaches bestseller status when it reaches sales of 10,000 copies in its lifetime – Paul is half way there in under a year.

Paul has done a great job of building the profile of his writing, but he also produced a wonderful book which is touching lives across the globe. You can find out more about this book and purchase copies here.

A free ebook March 22, 2013

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 5. News.
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From today until Tuesday (26 March, NZ time) you can download the Kindle version of To Rise Above by Julianne Jones for free!

To Rise Above is a superb new historical novel. Katie, Samuel and Rhiannon have settled into a distant land but soon their faith will be tested beyond anything they had ever imagined… A story of drama, romance and intrigue set in colonial New South Wales. Great reading for adults and teenagers.

To visit the Amazon page and download the Kindle version (free until Tuesday), click here.

For more info about To Rise Above, or to purchase the printed book version, click here.

And if you’re interested in publishing an ebook of your own, contact us.

To Rise Above March 11, 2013

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 4. Castle Distributed Books, To Rise Above.
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To Rise AboveCastle proudly presents a new fiction title – To Rise Above, by Julianne Jones. It’s a superbly written book – an exciting tale about the lives of a group of young people set in colonial New South Wales.

Julianne, who now lives in New Zealand, draws on the historical roots of her home country to create a vivid setting for a story about faith overcoming obstacles. To Rise Above focuses on the same characters as her first book – To a Distant Land (published by Arkhouse).

Here’s an excerpt from the back cover:

Katie, Samuel and Rhiannon have settled into a distant land but soon their faith will be tested beyond anything they had ever imagined…

After being wrongly accused and forced to give up everything, Katie Donovan has found new friends, new faith and a new family. But when it looks as if she’ll have to face even more heartache and loss will she have the strength to bear it?

Samuel McKinnon has accepted God’s plans for his life but he is about to come face-to-face with the harsh realities of colonial life. Will he give up or will he have the faith to persevere?

Rhiannon Sanford finally has the siblings she has longed for but then tragedy strikes and it looks as if she’ll lose everything she holds precious. Will she have the courage and faith to rise above?

Purchase To Rise Above in either printed or ebook version through the Castle website

Proudly New Zealand October 31, 2011

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 5. News.
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New Zealand is a great little country – and not just because we won the Rugby World Cup and the Lord of the Rings films were made here! At Castle we think that there is amazing value in unique books produced by New Zealanders (and Australasians) for New Zealand (and Australasia).

We keep our production quality high and our products unique.

And to show just how adamant we are about all this, we’ve got a new logo that we’re going to take every opportunity to display…

 

A few questions with: Mark Keown March 18, 2011

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 4. Castle Distributed Books, Mark Keown, What's God Up To On Planet Earth?.
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Last year, Castle was involved with the publishing of an excellent book that outlines the Christian faith, called What’s God Up To On Planet Earth? The book is written by Mark Keown, a lecturer at Laidlaw College. Recently Mark’s book was picked up American publishing house Wipf & Stock. We chatted to Mark about his background, his book, and about the Christchurch earthquake…

Tell us your story…

I was bought up in a non-Christian home. I had no real God-consciousness until I was 13 when I met Christ at a school group in the Cook Islands. I made a commitment to Jesus but didn’t become a fully committed believer until 24. I was a school teacher at the time and began to share my faith wherever and whenever I could. I married Emma and we set out on ministry, which has included just about everything you can do in a NZ church! This included leading Presbyterian and Baptist churches. I remained passionate about the gospel and evangelism throughout, hence this book on the gospel. I am now lecturer in  NT at Laidlaw College, having joined the staff about 5 ½ years ago.

What’s the most rewarding thing about working at Laidlaw?

There’s nothing I enjoy more than studying the Scriptures and talking about them. I am paid to do  this, and love it. I love asking and trying to answer hard questions. I love discovering the social and historical setting for the Bible, it brings it alive. I love the people who stimulate my thinking every day.

How did you come to write What’s God Up To On Planet Earth?

The book is inspired by engaging in evangelism and thinking about the gospel. I wanted to work out how to tell the story effectively and clearly in today’s world. I came across the ‘five R’s’ of the gospel (Relationship, Rupture, Restoration, Return and Response) and thought this was a great framework for the gospel. I wanted to write something more substantial than a tract, without strong dogmatic positions on some things (e.g. the return of Christ), that I could give to family and friends. I had learnt the power of sharing the gospel in written form when I wrote a letter to my sister with the gospel in it, not knowing she only had a short time to live. Because of the letter she gave her life to Jesus and died in relationship with him. The book is a letter to the world in the hope that some will be saved.

In a nutshell, what’s the message of the book?

God is love and created humanity because he wanted to walk in eternal relationship with free beings forever. So he created us free to live forever with him. He gave us this world to enjoy, to build, to care for, and we are all created for love. The whole thing is corrupted but God is restoring the world. We are invited to join him in his great project of restoration, if we believe in Jesus.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of having the book out there?

There is nothing more exciting than hearing that the book is changing lives. I gave a copy to an elderly Greek ex-opera singer in Kavala Greece on my trip there last year. He wrote to me a few months later saying, ‘I do believe I have become a Christ.’ His way of saying that he had given his life to Jesus! A guy in my church is now reading it for the third time because he loves it so much. His brother is in some serious trouble in life and he has just given him a copy hoping he will read it and that his life will be changed. Today a student asked for a couple of copies because he gives them away to people as they are baptised. I am so thrilled when I hear such stories.

Christianity has to have an application in the real world, so how does the message of your book apply, say, to the situation that Christchurch has faced with the earthquake there?

I think it helps us understand why such things happen. Chapter 2 ‘Rupture’ speaks of a world created very good that has gone wrong. The Fall was not just where humans fell, but death and destruction entered God’s glorious world. As a result, such events continue to happen and will go on. The book helps us to find the solution, which is Jesus. Jesus is working for the restoration of every person and the whole world. We are to join in this. On one level the books tells us how to find the security that if something like this hits us, God is still with us and loves us and we will be ok. It also tells us how to be involved in helping in such situations. We can help build cities that can withstand such terrible events. When these events happen, we can be there to love and give hope. We can be the ones who are out there leading the healing of the city, helping rebuild it and the people’s lives. The message is that God is with us in the midst of suffering.

For more info or to purchase a copy of What’s God Up To On Planet Earth? visit the Castle website here.

What’s God Up To On Planet Earth? April 21, 2010

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 4. Castle Distributed Books, What's God Up To On Planet Earth?.
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And with that question, Mark Keown (a doctor of theology who lectures at Laidlaw College) launches into one of the finest books of its kind to be published in the last 20 years.

There’s an awful lot of prejudice standing between the average person and information on what Christianity is really all about. Most people have some opinion on the church and Christians. So the challenge is to provide a level playing field – something accessible, not preachy, not cliché, not threatening or embarrassing – a place for them to carry out their own investigations, find a truly informed opinion about Christianity and act accordingly.

Mark succeeds in creating a book that is readable, accessible without being simplistic, and actually quite definitive. He has done a remarkable job of negotiating variant  interpretations of Christian tenets by sticking to the core of orthodox Christianity. Where significant differing interpretations exist, he discusses them and states his own preference.

Mark really does cover the whole scope of the Christian message, from before the Fall to the return of Jesus, and everything in between.  He captures the whole thing in the 120 pages that make up the main body of the book. These 120 pages are then enhanced with tools for further investigation: thought-provoking questions, extensive footnotes, appendices and recommended readings grouped into key subjects. Total page count: 160.

I was involved with the editing and production of this book, but I’m filled with admiration for what Mark has accomplished. I’m not alone in this admiration. Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary said, “Many Christians have summarised their beliefs over the years in written form. But few have done so in as lively and compelling a fashion as Mark Keown. If you thought faith was dull or boring, think again – and read this book. Long time Christ-followers and those who know nothing about Christianity will alike benefit from this book.”

What’s God Up To On Planet Earth available now.

Contact us for more info or to order a copy. Only NZ$24.95 per copy + P&P. Also available in New Zealand from Christian bookshops.

Follow Mark Keown on his blog.