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Forgotten Followers book is blessed at Launch Event

The focus of my marketing throughout November was an event to launch the publication of my new historical fiction, Forgotten Followers from Broken to Bold.

It was hard to estimate how many might come, with an ongoing reluctance for people to risk mingling in public. The night before the event, we were hit with snow squalls, and I was worried about who would come. I prayed for reassurance that I was on the right track, that I had not wasted so much time and money writing a book, not knowing if people would read it or care. Read on to see how that prayer was answered.

First, I want to thank my husband, David Kelly, who has had enduring patience with me sitting for hours on end working at my desk: researching, editing, marketing, and forgetting about dinner! He was at my event to help set up and provide support and he provided the atmosphere music on the keyboard.

I want to thank @StationOne Coffee House in Grimsby for the wonderful assortment of treats and for their support in arranging all of the refreshments. I was pleased that Sobeys was able to print a photo of my book's cover onto edible icing for my cake cutting ceremony.

Thank you to my daughter Lynn, who was a wonderful interviewer for the Q&A portion of the program, where we talked about my writing journey, the themes of equality, and why I wanted to write the novel.

Most of all, I want to express my gratitude to all those who came to support me and celebrate with me at this significant moment, the result of my focus over the last two years. I appreciated hearing your laughter and stories about how you connected with the ideas discussed.

I also want to thank my sister Laurie, who gave editing and story feedback during the writing process, and my brothers Rodney and Brian who came to share in the celebrations.

Thank you, Rodney, for taking all the photos at the event. Here is a video of photos from the event:

Answered Prayer

The people supporting me at the event made me completely contented and it felt like an answer to my prayer for reassurance that I was on the right track. Having God support me was an unexpected blessing. It felt supernatural when The Hamilton Spectator picked up the story of my book launch. It was like I asked God for a sip of reassurance and I found my cup overflowing. I felt humbled and blessed. The Hamilton Spectator is the largest newspaper in our region. Published every day except Sundays, it is owned by Torstar and is one of the largest Canadian newspapers by circulation. It is a secular paper, but as I say in the article, those who are not Christians may appreciate the book's discussion about how gender roles are addressed in the Bible and learn about its powerful women. In fact, some of those who may relate to the book the most are those who have doubts about God, Christianity, or the church. It is a half-page article in The Spec entitled 'A Christian-based novel addresses inequality and gender roles'. The sub-title says a lot: Forgotten Followers from Broken to Bold aims to bring healing and hope for readers.

Here is a link to the story by the Hamilton Spectator

Press Release:

[Grimsby, Ontario, Monday, Nov 21, 2022] It was a cheerful group of supporters that shovelled out of the snow to come to the Book Launch at Station 1 in Grimsby on Sunday afternoon. For Elaine Kelly, it was a moment to celebrate the accomplishment she has been working towards for over two years: the publication of her new historical fiction Forgotten Followers from Broken to Bold.

Guests enjoyed refreshments and live music played by the author’s husband, David Kelly. Their daughter, Lynn Doxtater, led an interview where Kelly discussed her motivations and goals for writing a novel about women in the first century. Kelly reflected on how the Roman Empire allowed women some rights to divorce, to receive and manage financial inheritances, and gain freedom from male guardianship. After the interview, Kelly cut into a cake topped with icing in the design of her book’s front cover, and guests munched and mingled.

“It was so gratifying to feel support and encouragement for me and my project. Writing can be a lonely activity, so it was wonderful to hear conversations bubbling all around the room as people shared stories of strong women who overcame difficulties and used their voices. They appreciated me, as a Christian, speaking out against the church limiting women’s choices, roles, or freedoms. We have a responsibility to use our gifts and to speak boldly.” – Elaine Kelly

Kelly was in the minority when she began her career as a female financial advisor, but it looked like women’s rights were moving forward. Thirty years later, she found gender equality had moved backwards. Kelly knew Jesus himself had female financial advisors and patrons and Kelly had taught her three daughters about gifted women of the Bible who performed a variety of roles including speaking and leading. She set about writing an engaging biblical fiction featuring Mara, traumatized by abuse, and Joanna, grappling with racism. Forgotten Followers

from Broken to Bold shows Jesus lifting up women, educating, equipping, and empowering them. Kelly believes that fiction impacts the heart in ways that logic and theology cannot, and she hopes her book brings healing and hope to those who have felt marginalized by the church.

A quote on the back cover shows Kelly was successful in her aim:

“These fictional stories are grounded in amazing historical research--and made me see Jesus' love for me in a whole new way." —Sheila Wray Gregoire, author of The Great Sex Rescue and founder of BareMarriage

Forgotten Followers, produced by FriesenPress, is available for order from most major online book retailers, including the FriesenPress Bookstore and Amazon. The eBook is available at Amazon Kindle, AppleBooks, Chapters/Indigo Kobo and GooglePlay. The paperback is also at The Nook, 42 A Main St. W., Grimsby.


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