Whether or not we can lie back on a beach this summer with a book in one hand and a drink in another, we can still enjoy a good book. Joy Margetts and Andrea Sarginson are two authors I have met through the Association of Christian Writers, and they are excited to share with you their debut novels. Having read both novels, I can heartily recommend them to you. If you have enjoyed Leaving Bethany then I am sure that you will enjoy them as much as I have.
Man of Glass by Andrea Sarginson
As rumours of a terrible plague reach gifted young glazing apprentice Amalric’s village in East Yorkshire in 1349, he dreads its arrival and despairs of the Church’s response and his village’s rampant superstition – but even he cannot deny the ominous portents that seem to abound. When the gruesome pestilence at last comes to Warren Horesby and neighbouring Meaux Abbey, Amalric and his family are blamed. Exposed to brutal recrimination, he is horribly injured in a vicious assault. Suddenly his survival depends on the care of a shy servant girl and the improbable support of the village priest and a newly qualified doctor of physic with pioneering ideas. Can the village ever come to terms with the ravages of the pestilence? Can Amalric honour his family, fulfil his talent and help the village survive? And can he find love and happiness in the aftermath of the terrible disease.
Andrea Sarginson says, Man of Glass is fiction based on fact, inspired by the remains of a medieval village and Cistercian Abbey in East Yorkshire, and the history of the Black Death. I have written about what could have been. After all, who knows about the lives of people buried long ago in a village church graveyard when records were seldom kept: who made the stained-glass windows of the fourteenth century churches, how did the ordinary person with only the basic traditional healing methods react to the symptoms of the devastating pestilence, what was it like to be a doctor unable to help? Written just before the Covid pandemic, when it was unknown in England, my novel has proven to be eerily prophetic.
About the author: Andrea Sarginson trained as a midwife, operating theatre nurse, teacher, and later as an art historian with interests in art and stained glass. She lives in Greater Manchester and since 2012 has been an Authorised Lay Minister in the Manchester Diocese. She approached retirement combining both art and medicine as an associate of the Arts for Health Department at Manchester Metropolitan University. Creative writing became an interest for her when retired, developing a curiosity for the interaction between medicine, art and spirituality.
Man of Glass by Andrea Sarginson (ISBN: 9781912726189) is published by Instant Apostle, 304pp, £8.99. Available from firstname.lastname@example.org for £7.00 incl postage.
The Healing By Joy Margetts
Driven to despair by heart-breaking betrayal, nobleman Philip de Braose has lost faith in God and man. Working as a soldier for hire, he recklessly seeks death and is brutally injured, only for rescue to come in the unlikely form of a Cistercian monk.
This joy-filled, kind and compassionate man walks alongside Philip as his body slowly recovers and he is forced to confront the more painful wounds within. As they travel from France to an Abbey deep in his Welsh homeland, Philip disguises himself as a Cistercian and begins to rediscover the man God always intended him to be.
But when his past invades the present, his newly awakened faith is challenged by long-buried dreams and he must decide if he can live a life devoted to God outside the Abbey’s walls.
Joy says : The Healing is a work of historic fiction but it is also my story. Eight years ago my life was turned upside down when I became unexpectedly ill. I struggled physically, but also went to a very dark place emotionally and spiritually. God felt very far away, but the truth is that He wasn’t. He surrounded me with people who loved me, prayed for me, and spoke truth in love. He also drew me deeper into His word and the promises it contains, and I made the decision to choose to hope in His power to heal and restore me. The very many things I learnt in this time, and the things that my friends spoke and prayed over me, are the real inspiration for this book. God did a healing work in me that is ongoing today. Although the inspiration for the story of Philip and his Cistercian friend, Brother Hywel, came whilst sitting in Cistercian abbey ruins, I believe that God gifted me with this book as a means of offering hope to others. Lockdown in April 2020 gave me the time and space to write this, my first novel, that had been in the planning stage for far too long! Instant Apostle graciously had faith enough in the book to publish it for me. I believe God enabled me to write it, for such a time as this.
About the author: Joy Margetts has loved writing for as long as she can remember. A retired nurse and mother of two, she also has a lifelong interest in history, and loves nothing better than visiting ancient monuments or burying herself in archive material. She was brought up in Southern England, but for the last twenty five years has made her home on the North Wales coast. Her writing is inspired by the beautiful landscapes and rich spiritual history of her adopted homeland. She loves the Word of God, and loves the opportunity to teach regularly in local church.
More information on Joy and her writing, and her personal blog, can be found here www.joymargetts.com
The Healing by Joy Margetts ( ISBN: 978 -1-912726-42-4) is published by Instant Apostle, 224 pp, RRP £9.99. Available widely in bookstores and online and from the author direct at www.joymargetts.com for £9.50 incl U.K. postage