By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
ANNAN, SCOTLAND (ANS – August 19, 2015) – “Precious Time” is a new book by prolific author, Claire Lesley R. Ollerton, who has been writing books for all ages since 1977 – an approximate total of 70 in all.
I asked her when she started to write and she told me that it was actually when she was ten years old and wrote an adventure essay loosely based on “The Secret Garden.” About the same time, she won two essay writing competitions, one of which had to include a watercolor painting.
However, there was a long break until the first printed book came out in 1977 as a result of a friend’s advice to visit to Lee Abbey in Devon, England for a vacation and whilst she was there she met The Lord, Jesus and He gave her some poems so she put them into a book called “The Sea and other poems” and it also became the first of the books to raise money for charity. One of the poems was called, “Precious Time,” and that appears in this new book.
The next books that were penned by Claire featured the adventures of her teddy bear. Simon, seen here at his special birthday party on February 29th 2012.
Claire, who was born in Lancashire, England, but now lives in Annan, Scotland, told me that every one of the books she has was written was compiled with “Jesus’ guidance” and included prayers and/or Scripture verses to encourage all ages. However, since she moved to Annan, the books now also contain an invitation for everyone who reads them the opportunity to receive Jesus’ free gift of salvation.
Ms. Ollerton told me that she wrote ‘Precious Time’ because “The Lord, Jesus, gave her the inspiration to do it because He loves everyone and wants them to be with Him forever.”
She added: “It is also a book that deals with time and how we use it plus He gave me all the ideas for the recipes that are in it which were made up by chefs Connor and Kevin at The Queensberry Arms Hotel in Annan and tested by people I had invited to taste them. Every recipe passed the test and the verdicts were that they were scrumptious and delicious.”
Claire told me that she was honored to enclose in the book contributions from Hollywood legends, Ms. Ginger Rogers and Ms. Rhonda Fleming and added that she has been friends with Rhonda for over five years and Rhonda graciously gave her permission to include two of her inspired poems in the book.
In a previous book “Heartfelt Treasures to Inspire, Encourage and Bless You,” [ISBN 978 1 898936 73 2 US edition & ISBN 978 1 898936 75 6 UK edition.] Claire encouraged Rhonda to write another poem for it and she also put a photo of Rhonda’s doggy companion to illustrate it on the front cover and also near the poem;that book is also selling a lot of copies to help charities.
Claire says that she first “met” Rhonda when she was doing some research for putting on musical illustrated talks about Christian actors and she wanted to find out what their favorite Scripture verse and Christian songs were to be included in the repertoire that also included their secular songs; so she emailed Rhonda to find out what her favorites were and was delighted when she received an email back saying that Rhonda was also a “real Christian.”
Strangely enough, Rhonda’s favorite Christian song, “Amazing Grace” also happens to be Claire’s and it is played annually at Annan’s equestrian event – “The Riding of the Marches” – and details of that organization are also in the book.
“Rhonda is a wonderful, Christian lady, a naturally talented actress who has starred with former US President Ronald Regan, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Donald O’Connor – with the latter [also a Christian]. I had the privilege of singing a duet with him many years ago at The London Palladium,” said Claire.
When Ms. Ollerton was giving her talk at the launch of ‘Precious Time’, she read out this commendation from Rhonda having sent her beforehand a proof copy of ’Precious Time.’ It read: To Claire Ollerton and Steadfast Ministries.” [NB Steadfast Ministries is Claire’s ministry based in Annan, SW Scotland]
Rhonda Fleming added, “I extend my heartfelt thanks for including my poems in your book ‘Precious Time.’ As a long-time born again Christian, it gives me great pleasure to share my God inspired poetry and I pray that all who read this beautiful book will be blessed and encouraged to seek a personal relationship with our Lord.
“May God bless you always – Rhonda Fleming Carlson.”
Claire went on to say that Rhonda is also involved in many charities and particularly P.A.T.H. [People Assisting the Homeless] where many years ago she set up the Rhonda Fleming Family Center within P.A.T.H. Gramercy to help homeless one-parent families to have a better life and restore their dignity.
A quarter of the money raised from the UK sales of “Precious Time” also support this worthwhile cause, and other charities supported are “Help for Heroes,” “Annandale Churches Together Children’s Project” and “The Riding of The Marches” [Christians are involved in the running of this event.] The US version of the book supports P.A.T.H., [PeopleAssistingThe Homeless,] Forest Home Center [to assist those on low incomes to join in activities there], “Jesus Online Ministries” and “Help for Heroes.”
There are two versions of the book, Claire told me, because American spelling is not the same as British spelling and also the names of some of the ingredients in the recipes are different in their respective countries.
Both versions of the book can be obtained via www.amazon.co.uk – “Precious Time” UK Version – ISBN 978 1 898936 21 3 and “Precious Time” US Version – ISBN 978 1 898936 70 1.
Photo captions: 1) Cover of Claire’s new book US Version. [The UK Version does not have the heart shape on the front cover to save confusion for the printer/collator.] 2) Claire Lesley Ollerton’s Simon [bear] and guests, including Hamish McBadger, at their special birthday party in 2012. 3) Rhonda Fleming [Carlson.] 4) Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He has written some 45 books himself and has reported for ANS from all over the world.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)