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“Abraham Lincoln Civil War Stories’ now in paperback

BLOG #46, SERIES #8

WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE

ABRAHAM LINCOLN CIVIL WAR STORIES

IS HONORED BY A SECOND EDITION

November 15, 2017

Since second editions rarely happen, this one means a great deal to us. Permit me to share with you why Howard/Simon & Schuster asked if I’d be willing to help create a Second Edition.

(1)      The original dust-jacketed hardback came out in 2013, during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Though it contained many stories set prior to the war and reflective ones after the war, we still, by its title, emphasized on the cover only the stories set during the war itself.

But now, four years later, the time was ripe for coming out with a new edition touting the fact that many of the stories were not set during the war. But changing the title might result in buyer confusion. We certainly didn’t want those who already had the 2013 book to mistakenly assume this was a totally new collection of stories, so we stayed with the original title–but still made a number of changes.

(2)      First of all, the publisher felt that so many seismic changes had taken place since 2013–changes in our nation and the world, especially in the polarization of our own people and in the coarsening of our public rhetoric, that it might be informative for me to write a new introduction to the collection, this one having to do with Lincoln’s timelessness, why he means more today than he ever did against the limited backdrop of the war itself.

(3)      Then there is the new section of Lincoln stories that are for, or about, small children. We call them “storiettes” because they tend to be shorter than the ones included in the First Edition. These really short stories are just as significant as are longer ones, especially where small children are concerned, given their short attention-spans.

(4)      All these were added to the original text; nothing was left out.

(5)      The much-loved Nathan Greene painting of Lincoln in a tent at Antietam (the bloodiest single-day battle of the war) was retained, but the base color was changed from gold to a striking shade of red–considerably more dramatic!

(6)      And, it was felt it would be good to bind the Second Edition as trade paper rather than hardback, thus reducing the price from $23.99 to $15.99. This way more people can afford to give them away as stocking-stuffers this Christmas. It is an especially important book to give to young people who are searching for real heroes rather than pseudo ones.

We already have a fine stock available. No tax outside of Colorado, 5% inside. Shipping is $6.00.

You can find this book, and many more, on our web site: www.joewheelerbooks.com. Place your order there–or you can send us an email at mountainauthor@gmail.com. Or you can write to us at P.O. Box 1246, Conifer, CO 80433. Or give us a call at 303-838-2333 to place your order.

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The Ultimate Christmas Gift of 2017

BLOG #45, SERIES #8

WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE

THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT OF 2017

THE COMPLETE SET OF CHRISTMAS IN MY HEART®

November 8, 2017

Everywhere I go, I see shoppers almost frantically searching for what they consider almost impossible: the perfect gift for the Christmasaholic (on one’s stocking list) who already has EVERYTHING! And it never ceases to amaze me how many people there are out there who think, decorate, sing, and read Christmas year-round. They are the happiest people you will find anywhere! In fact, it’s surprising to discover so many who read the Christmas in My Heart® books year-round (and when they’ve cycled through all of them, next week they start back on Book 1 and begin the cycle all over again).

THE MIRACLE

The miracle is–in this age of jerking new books out of print almost as soon as they come into print–that for 26 years now (more than a quarter century), the entire series has somehow remained in print. In spite of the original publisher’s closing its doors! And the miracle? Pacific Press picking up where Review & Herald left off (Christmas in My Heart16), and continuing the series. Not only that, but also keeping all of the first 16 in print so that individuals such as you can still purchase the entire set on the cheap).

And, as many of you know, Christmas in My Heart® [Gold Medallion finalist] is now the longest-running Christmas story series in the United States and Canada.

I’ve never felt the series to be my own–but rather it is God’s. Again and again and again, when for one reason or another, it appeared clear that the Series had reached its terminus, God has stepped in to keep it alive.

And now over a million of our Christmas books have been sold, untold thousands of them in the U.S. and Canada–and many of them overseas as well–who call themselves “completists, own them all. And, of course, perish the thought that any of them would miss picking up the newest addition! Furthermore, each of these “completists” feel they own us. “You must NEVER die!” they tell me. “How could I possibly face another Christmas without a new collection?”

 FISCAL REALITIES

It has been a long time coming: For thirteen years Review & Herald stayed with its original price of $10.99; it raised the price to $11.99, and stayed there for three years; then it raised the price to $13.99 and stayed there for seven years; and for three years now the price has been $14.99. But reprinting a book that’s 10, 15, or 20 years old and having to sell them at the original price is not cost-effective at all. Consequently, Pacific Press, recognizing that if they are to continue to keep all the books in print, has finally done what it had to do: they have raised the price of the first 23 books to $13.99 each, and books 24, 25, and 26 are pegged at $14.99. Since we have had to pay for major recent purchases of the entire series at this new price, we are forced to change our prices accordingly.

NOW, FOR THE ULTIMATE GIFT

As many of you know, when Christmas in My Heart® turned a quarter century old, Pacific Press celebrated by creating and printing 300 boxed sets (it cost them $20,000 just to print those boxes!). They are indeed beautiful.

In spite of all these price changes, we can still offer a 30% discount! The total retail price for a set (and shipping books to us) is $386.71. But we can offer the complete set to you for $269.50 (a 30% discount), plus shipping of course. This price will be good until Thursday, December 21. Our offices will be closed for the Christmas holiday, and won’t reopen until January 13 of 2018. After that, the set will be available at $289.00, plus shipping.

And, if so requested, I can inscribe the entire set (it takes me at least two hours to inscribe a full set now) at no additional cost to you.

If you wish to secure one of those ultra rare boxed-sets of 25, let us know and we’ll check to see if there are any left—and we’ll let you know what it will set you back. But I wouldn’t be able to inscribe a boxed set, as they are sealed.

You can find all of these books, and many more, on our web site: www.joewheelerbooks.com. Place your order there — or you can send us an email at mountainauthor@gmail.com.

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Catherine Marshall’s “A Man Called Peter”

BLOG #44, SERIES #8

WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE

DR. JOE’S BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB #71

CATHERINE MARSHALL’S A MAN CALLED PETER

November 1, 2017

Of our 70 previous book selections, eight have been biographical:

Laurence Bargreen’s Over the Edge of the World

     Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast

     Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth’s Cheaper By the Dozen

     Ralph Moody’s Little Britches

     Slavomir Rawicz’s The Long Walk

     P. R. Reid’s The Colditz Story

     Thoreau’s Walden

     David Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson

It’s time for our ninth.

How well I remember the one-two punch of Catherine Marshall’s biography of her minister husband’s life: A Man Called Peter (1951), followed by the profoundly emotive movie in 1955. This 20th Century Fox film featured a stellar cast, including Richard Todd, Jean Peters, Marjorie Rambeau, Jill Esmond, Lee Tremayne, and Robert Burton. It was directed by Henry Koster. It was nominated for a Best Color Cinematography Academy Award.

At the time the book and film came out I was of an age where I was seeking values to live by, thus the book so deeply moved me that it has been a significant part of me ever since.

Marshall, a native of Scotland, emigrated to the U.S. in 1927, literally destitute. But what a meteoric rise he had! Pastoring churches such as Atlanta’s Westminster Presbyterian Church and Washington, D.C.’s prestigious New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (the Church of the Presidents, including Lincoln), and finally his last ministry: Chaplain of the United States Senate.

But it was not for the prestigious pulpits that we remember him today, but for the love story with his wife and biographer. But other reasons are recounted in a McGraw-Hill dust jacket:

It is a record of love and faith that has few equals in real life and is a book which brings alive the magnificent sincerity with which Dr. Marshall brought God into the affairs of men. No intellectualized theologian, Peter Marshall was a dynamic individual who drew many of his ideas for prayers and sermons from his own life and experiences. His approach to life was broad and the enthusiasm that characterized his approach to religion was equally strong in his enjoyment of football and baseball; his irrepressible good humor cropped up as often in his sermons as it did in his vigorous participation in games of all kinds.A collection of his sermons and prayers titled Mr. Jones, Meet the Master was on the best-seller lists continuously for several years. Scenes you will never be able to forget: his providentially falling on the edge of an abyss in fog so thick one more step would have meant death; a church sermon in which Catherine was so love-struck she walked out of the sanctuary, her heels clicking with every step, and Peter staring at her almost in a trance, unable to speak until she passed out of sight; that unforgettable cruise to Scotland, and his introducing his bride to his birth-country; the way youth followed him as though he were himself the Pied Piper; Catherine’s years in bed fighting tuberculosis and the beginning of her personal relationship with her Lord—and so much more. And Peter Marshall’s way too short life, dying at the peak of his career of a heart attack—he was only 46!

This much I can promise you: when you complete the book, you will not be the same person you were when you started.

And if you know of a young person who is searching for answers, for values, for a spiritual mentor, gift that person with a copy of this one-of-a-kind-book.

Do let me know what you think of it.

 

Continue reading Catherine Marshall’s “A Man Called Peter”

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Three Weeks in B.C. #4 – Telegraph Cove and Port Hardy

BLOG #43, SERIES #8

WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE

THREE WEEKS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA #4

TELEGRAPH COVE AND PORT HARDY

October 25, 2017

We got up early next morning as we wanted to make sure we wouldn’t be late for the ferry at Powell Junction. It was a big one (hour and twenty-minute cruise across to Vancouver Island). Plenty of time for a good breakfast. On the fourth deck, who should we meet but our shipmates from Heidelberg, Germany, and little Matthew?

The 4 Explorers

Once disembarked on Vancouver Island (the largest populated land mass between western North America and New Zealand), we wasted no time in hitting the road north. Towering mountains all around us—but still partly obscured by smoke. Both Byron and I had done a lot of research on the island before we arranged our itinerary. One place that kept popping up was the tiny town of

Telegraph Cove

Telegraph Cove. It was mid-afternoon before we neared the junction. We decided to check it out. Population 20. But that population skyrockets during summer tourist season. It’s one of the last remaining “boardwalk” communities on Vancouver Island. It was used as a hospital village during the World War I Spanish Flu Pandemic. The plague killed more people world-wide than World Wars I and II combined.

Fortunately, for the little town’s continued existence, it was built around a deep sheltered harbor. Many of the colorfully painted structures were built on stilts. The main tourist activity is whale watching. Unfortunately, there were so many people vying for boat tickets that we missed one boat and decided to drive on to Port Hardy at the extreme north end of the island, checked in to our motel, then returned to Telegraph Cove in time to board the 5:00 p.m. whale watching boat. This boat too was full (about 50 passengers).

Whale Watching

In our entire lifetime, Connie and I had never seen anywhere near as much wild life from one boat ride as we did here out of Telegraph Cove. Bald Eagles, fields of Orcas (killer whales), humpback whales, porpoises, dolphins, seals, deep-diving birds, etc. Orcas especially were leaping all around us, and even right next to the boat. And who could forget when the captain lowered a listening device into the water so that we could hear the whales talking with each other! It was almost surreal! And there were also excellent wildlife lectures onboard. This evening cruise alone was worth the price of the entire trip.

Dock at Port Hardy

It was late before we got back to our rustic cabins overlooking Port Hardy’s harbor.

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Three Weeks in BC – Lund, Sunshine Coast, and Desolation Sound

BLOG #42, SERIES #8

WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE

THREE WEEKS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA #3

LUND, THE SUNSHINE COAST, AND DESOLATION SOUND

October 18, 2017

Today, I pick up at the tail end of our campmeeting sojourn in Hope, on the banks of the mighty Fraser River (see blogs for September 20 and 27).

Kim Palmer

When we left there, with Byron and Kim Palmer (nephew and niece), we still had to deal with the suffocatingly dense smoke from those several hundred fires. Our destination for Day 1 of our nine-day exploration of Vancouver Island was the old town of Lund, on the mainland of a delightful region called the Sunshine Coast. This area is so-called because it has become such a recreation paradise, boasting Canada’s mildest climate. We soon discovered that Canada, with a land mass as large as the U.S., but only one-tenth the population, has had to make do with far-fewer roads than we do and far more ferry boats and seaplanes to compensate.

Actually, the large ferry boats were a joy to ride on, most with

B.C. Ferry

plenty of seating, food-service, and deck space to watch the abundant water life. But the catch is that they are not cheap to travel on.

The Sunshine Coast is only 93 miles long, but thanks to the two ferry boat crossings (besides the wait at each port), it is anything but a quick trip. We waited two hours for ferry #1 and later an hour and a half for ferry #2. But had there been a road around, it would have taken us at least as long. Reason being, there are almost uncountable thousands of miles of island after island after island to deal with.

One of the great serendipities of Canadian life and travel has to do with the vast wilderness areas devoid of people and roads. For starters, let’s take the tiny fishing village called Lund, first settled in 1899. The last road (Highway 101) sputters out of existence just a few miles north of town. Now take out your B.C. map and you’ll see nothing but wilderness, with little settlements here and there reachable only by boat or seaplane. There are no roads until you get to Prince Rupert, not far from Ketchikan, Alaska.

Historic Lund Hotel

We stayed in the historic Lund Hotel. For a very good reason: it’s the only hotel in town! The old-timey rooms have been remodeled and are most pleasant to stay in. Dinner was on the deck overlooking the harbor. Sunset was spectacular! Took us a while to digest the reality of no through-traffic. Also, during the two days we stayed there, we met travelers from all around the world, and almost everyone seemed delighted to talk with us.

Next morning early, we found our way to the dining area again for

Desolation Sound

a wonderful breakfast—especially the French toast! Then it was time to board our boat for a five and a half hour cruise of Desolation Sound. Canada has wonderful provincial parks, and Desolation Sound Marine Park is the largest of British Columbia’s 50 marine parks. There are no roads, it’s all wild and totally undeveloped. On board, we shared the day with a delightful boat captain and his wife, a land-developer and his wife from Victoria; a Turkish-German BASF engineer, with his Swedish wife, and nine-month-old Matthew who was our pet for the day; and another Canadian couple. The scenery was spectacular—would have been much more so had it not been for the smoke. On-board lunch was beautifully prepared and delicious.

Sunset at Lund

In the serenity of the evening, another delicious diner on the veranda, strolls along the beach and wharf, admiring one of the most beautiful yachts we’d ever seen, listening to a woman playing her bagpipe not far from a home-made-donut shop. And what a sunset! The end of a perfect day. New friendships, wilderness scenery, abundant wildlife, delicious food, bagpipe music, and a quiet night—what more could one ask for?

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“Christmas in My Heart 26” is Available

BLOG #41, SERIES #8

WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE

CHRISTMAS IN MY HEART 26

October 11, 2017

NEWS RELEASE

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Our 98th book (82nd story anthology) was just released by Pacific Press in Nampa, Idaho. From this day on, Christmas Rush begins here in Colorado as “completists” weigh in to make certain their sets remains complete. Others order books they are still lacking. And still others are just now discovering us. Whatever the reason, it will be a joy to hear from you.

It was most special to discover that the publisher, for the sixth year in a row, issued a splendid color bookmark (with hand-tied tassel) made from the cover stock and cover illustration—a true work of art. We include it with the book at no extra cost.

Here are the contents:

Frontispiece poem, “The Great Moment,” by Harriet Prescott Spofford

“The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told,” by the Apostles Luke and Matthew

“Tears Tomorrow,” by Isobel Stewart

“A Homespun Christmas,” by J. Stephen Conn

“Mary: Blessed of Women – a Word Portrait,” by the editors of David C. Cook

“A Wise Man,” by Frank Bennett

“Listen to the Bells,” by Catherine R. Britton

“The Three Strangers,” by Paul McAffee

“A Silver Christmas,” by Noel H. Shanko

“The Old, Old Story,” by Ruth K. Kent

“Cherished and Shared of Old,” by Susan Glaspell

“The Story of the Star,” by Florence Morse Kingsley

“Something in the Sock,” by Ruth Comfort Mitchell

“The Christmas Gift,” by Dayle Allen Shockley

“Old Ironpuss,” by Arthur Gordon

“Christmas for One,” by Frances Stockwell Lowell

“Christmas at Solomon’s Shore,” by Joseph Leininger Wheeler with Temple Bailey

Retail price is $14.99, but it is on sale now for $10.99. If you are a Colorado resident, add 5% tax. Shipping is $6.00. You can order it directly from us. Send us an email to mountainauthor@gmail.com. Or you can go to our web page: www.joewheelerbooks.com and order it there. Be sure to let us know if you would like the book inscribed.