Book News and an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Home/africa, Writing/Book News and an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Book News and an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

You guys.

Book deal.


I signed a book contract. What a saga, a story for another day, of how it came about. But all the peaks and valleys brought me to a publisher who fits this story in ways I couldn’t have imagined a few months ago.

I signed with Plough and couldn’t be happier. I love their books, their vision, and the way they work.

One of the first things I wanted to do was to tell you, Djibouti Jones readers.

I want to thank you.

Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, challenging, and encouraging me. Thank you for the emails and private messages. Thank you for saying hello at the grocery store or the airport. Thank you for letting me write on your own websites. Thank you for reminding me that as an expat and a writer and a mother, three identities that can be so lonely, I am not alone. Thank you for sharing your words here, in guest posts.

I’ve been blogging now for ten years, working on essays, learning how to write in public. Some of you have been around that long. Thank you. I’m sure many of my posts are ridiculous.

I don’t ever take it for granted that you spend time here and that, when we have the chance to meet in real life, you offer words of support and encouragement.

I have a thank you gift for all of you but first let me tell you a bit about what I’m diving into.

Our world seems to grow only more divided and brokenness is exposed every day. How do we continue to live and love when fear of the ‘other’ permeates the very air we breathe?

This biography, with a little memoir sprinkled in, addresses that question. It is the story of the most inspiring woman I have known. It is a global story of massacre, war, secrets, and disease, and it is a testimony of how love, through radical service, conquers fear.

Research took me across the world. I’ve been in musty Nairobi archives (bliss), unfolding hand-drawn maps from 1910. I sat in an Italian doctor’s attic with a bowl of gelato in my lap to watch a slide show, with actual slides from the 1990s (also, bliss. Actually? I’m loving all of this). I’ve talked so long with Somalis in Holland that they gave me a toothbrush and pajamas and insisted I spend the night. I’ve been in Somali deaf schools and gorged myself on homemade Italian feasts. I’ve been hosted by the bravest, most generous people, our world’s quiet heroes. I’ve cried with them as they told stories of this woman and I’ve cried when they passed heirlooms to me. I’ve been changed by this research, the writing of the story, and by this woman.

This is a story that needs to be told and I can’t wait to introduce you to her.

But. I have to wait. Publication day is far out in the future. You’ll hear more about that down the road.

For now, I want to offer Djibouti Jones readers something as a token of my gratitude. I’m so excited about this book and want to celebrate with you!

Some of the themes in the story are fear, courage, and love. I’ve written many times about these themes and the best piece is a longform essay published originally by The Big Roundtable. I want to gift it to you. This edition includes stunning new photos by the talented Matt Erickson, who has been involved in the research and development of this book from the start.

After the essay, I’ve included my top 12 tips for fighting fear and living a full life, things I’ve learned over the course of 15 years in the Horn of Africa.


I’m offering a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader! (I know, book stuff blahblahblah, but free money?! Now we’re talkin’)

To download The Proper Weight of Fear book and be entered to win the gift card, here’s what to do:

  • Sign-up for my newsletter, Stories from the Horn (the confirmation email includes a link to the book)

powered by TinyLetter

 Do one or more of the following:

  • Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram
  • Share this post on social media
  • Tag a friend or two (or 12) you think might enjoy Djibouti Jones, The Proper Weight of Fear book, the upcoming biography, or who just needs $50 from Amazon

Optional: Leave a comment below letting me know what you’ve done!

By signing up for the newsletter, your email address will automatically be included in the drawing for the Amazon gift card.

If you already subscribe to the newsletter, don’t worry, your email is already included in the drawing. But don’t be shy about sharing/commenting/following/tagging!

*the book and gift card giveaway will end November 30th, just in time for holiday shopping!










  1. Denise Runge October 30, 2017 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Rachel, I am so excited for you! Signing with a publisher-what a dream come true. Praying for you as you write, edit, rewrite, etc, etc.

  2. JoAnna Kariuki October 30, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Oh, I’m looking forward to the book! How exciting. My aunt served as a missionary doctor in Somali-land back in the day, and our home church here in Nairobi has an outreach to the Somali community, so, in addition to following your blog and finding lots of common with our life in Chad, there’s lots of little connection points which I’m sure will make the book an interesting read. Cheering you on!

  3. Jessica Sanborn October 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    I am so very excited and happy for you, Rachel! I can’t wait to read the story you have to share.

  4. Kim October 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    So excited for you!!! And excited about reading your book when it is released 🙂
    I was already a subscriber to your newsletter, but I’m now following you on Facebook and Instagram. Sorry, but I don’t do Twitter. I can’t keep up with the social media stuff I’m on now 🙂 Plus I’m a talker and 140 characters? Never gonna happen with this girl! LOL

    • Rachel Pieh Jones October 30, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      Thanks for following and reading. I can barely keep up with it all either and I totally get the 140 character thing, that’s what blogs are for, right?!

  5. Holly Newman October 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    How exciting, so happy for you! And for us who get to read your beautiful prose about an inspiring woman. You are a brave and exemplary person, thankful and blessed to know you virtually.

  6. Becca October 30, 2017 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Subscribed, shared and I already followed you on all the social media. 🙂 so excited for you!!

  7. Beth October 30, 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read it!

  8. Daniel D. Maurer October 30, 2017 at 8:58 pm - Reply


  9. mamahousemouse October 30, 2017 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, I am SO excited for you, Rachel!!! What an amazing blessing! I can’t wait to read it!!! Congratulations!!!

  10. Jean Carlson October 31, 2017 at 1:42 am - Reply

    What a surprise-not! So excited for you. I am happpy to share this exciting news. I don’t use Twitter either. Haven’t even checked it out because I don’t need another account!

    • Rachel Pieh Jones October 31, 2017 at 5:55 am - Reply

      Haha, thanks Jean! And don’t bother with Twitter. I can barely figure it out…

  11. Corrie Ayers October 31, 2017 at 2:38 am - Reply

    Rachel – this is so exciting! I can’t wait to read the book! You are amazing and I think I have been around for all 10 years of your blogging! Congrats!

  12. Stephanie October 31, 2017 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Congratulations!!! So excited for you, and very well deserved. Can’t wait to read it!

  13. kari October 31, 2017 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Woo hoo! I am beyond thrilled for you! The joy of this is so much deeper than most people can understand. It’s the beginning of sweet fruit ripened through many hard years of wondering and waiting. He is doing a good work in and through you. You are in my prayers and you continue on in this amazing journey.

  14. Carmen Tomaszewski October 31, 2017 at 6:11 pm - Reply


    It has been a delight to know you since before you had your babies! I am thrilled to see the gift of creativity that God has given you, and how you are using it to bless others – including myself. I learn so much from you. I pray that this new book will provide you with more and more opportunities to share the Greatest Story with those around you.

    God bless you now, and during the writing process. May He give you strength and encouragement during the long, hard days ahead as you work to birth this project.

    • Rachel Pieh Jones November 1, 2017 at 5:04 am - Reply

      Thanks Carmen, so true – the hard days are ahead. I’m so glad for how this story challenges me and for the people I get to relate with to bring it to the world.

  15. Carla C October 31, 2017 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I follow on instagram with the name shroomfrog 🙂

  16. Barb October 31, 2017 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Excited about your book and sharing. Very proud of you

  17. Sarah Sidnam November 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Congratulations! What an exciting journey you are on. I love to read your writing and learn from your insights. You truly are a woman of wisdom with a gift with words. Many blessings on the road ahead.

  18. Katie November 2, 2017 at 2:07 am - Reply

    So many fellow MN and BBC people commenting. I’m glad for their comments and look forward to your book. Thanks for the giveaway. I’m now following on Facebook and Twitter.

  19. Elizabeth A. in Sweden November 2, 2017 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Thank you for making newsletters and The Proper Weight of Fear available to me / us!
    I love these reads, and I’m glad even more people will be able to share in your writings now.
    As of today, I am also a follower on Facebook 🙂 .
    Wishes of peace!

    • Rachel Pieh Jones November 4, 2017 at 6:28 am - Reply

      I love how the internet makes Djibouti and Sweden and places all around feel closer and connected. Thanks for reading and following!

  20. Susan Vinton November 4, 2017 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    I signed up for your newsletter and shared this post on FB! I learn from reading your stuff, and I think from reading your stuff–both good things! Looking forward to your book.

  21. shannon fowler November 5, 2017 at 4:13 am - Reply

    I am following on Facebook, twitter, and instagram. I also shared this page on Facebook!

  22. Judy Thomas November 5, 2017 at 10:16 am - Reply

    I subscribed by email and shared on Pinterest :
    I follow on Pinterest and facebook.

    • Rachel Pieh Jones November 6, 2017 at 8:31 am - Reply

      Cool! I wish I were better on Pinterest, I can’t quite get there enough. Thank you.

  23. Debra Holloway November 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    I completed Facebook, Twitter, and instagram. I also posted to Facebook.

  24. Alexandru Rusu November 6, 2017 at 3:18 am - Reply

    I subscribed and followed on Twitter @andupustiu17 and Instagram @allexinnoalexys

  25. Nikolina Vukelic November 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Subscribed & shared:
    Following on FB, twitter & instagram.
    Thank you for the opportunity!

  26. Stephanie Ziebarth February 1, 2018 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Hi, Rachel. Very exciting news about the book! Is there a way I could download the ebook (excited to see Matt’s photos too) as someone who is already a newsletter subscriber? Sorry if I missed that somewhere. Enjoy the marathon! 🙂 1 Cor 16:13-14

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.