Looking forward to 2013: One-Day Writing Seminar in Sydney, Australia

by Narelle Atkins

In late December I start reflecting on the year that has gone and look forward to new challenges in the New Year. A definite highlight of 2012 was selling my debut contemporary inspirational romance book to Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents line in the USA. I’ll have more information to share on this sale in the New Year.

2013 will bring a couple of opportunities to travel. I’m looking forward to going to Sydney in April to present a writing seminar hosted by Australian Christian Writers Fellowship. I grew up in Sydney and the book I sold to Harlequin is set in Sydney. The writing seminar details are below.



10.30AM TO 3.30PM


St Philip’s Anglican Church Hall, Eastwood

Cnr. Shaftsbury Rd and Clanalpine St


A romance novelist.


• How to write engaging and effective blog posts to promote your work.

• Writing a proposal to catch an editor’s attention.

• Traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

RSVP: 13th April

COST: Early bird by 31st March $10, other $15, includes light lunch and morning tea.


Margaret McDonald: Ph 02 9869 1563

e-mail: alan.mc [at] optusnet [dot] com [dot] au

Mailing Address: 5 Plympton Rd,

Carlingford NSW 2118

Cheques to be made payable to Australian Christian Writers Fellowship. Bank deposits possible on request.

Winner of Web of Lies by Laura O’Connell


Congratulations to Jenny who is the winner of Laura O’Connell’s Aussie women’s fiction book Web of Lies.

Starting next week, we are taking a break from blogging over Christmas and New Year. We’ll be back on Tuesday, January 8 when we’ll be posting the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance book tour: A Simple Mistake by Andrea Grigg.

We wish you a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year.

Book Recommendation: Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Remembering Christmas

Back cover blurb:

Rick Denton lives his life on his terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. So when his mother calls on Thanksgiving weekend begging him to come home after his stepfather has a stroke, Rick is more than a little reluctant. He’s never liked Art and resents the man’s presence in his life, despite the fact that his own father abandoned the family when Rick was just twelve. When what was supposed to be just a couple days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and running off the homeless man who keep hanging about, Rick’s attitude sours even more.

Still, slowly but surely, the little bookstore and its quirky patrons–as well as the lovely young woman who works at his side each day–work their magic on him, revealing to Rick the truth about his family, his own life, and the true meaning of Christmas. With skillful storytelling, Dan Walsh creates a Christmas story will have readers remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.

Narelle: I enjoyed reading this feel good Christmas story with a touch of romance. Rick has prioritized his career and the lifestyle it affords with little regard for his mother, stepfather and the small beach town in Florida where he grew up. His skiing plans for Thanksgiving are put on hold when he receives his mother’s desperate phone call, and he feels obligated to return home to help run the family Christian bookstore.

Rick’s life choices and priorities are challenged in the story as circumstances force him to consider questions of faith and the future direction of his life. Christmas Day in Florida reminds me of our warm Aussie summer Christmas Days. I recommend Remembering Christmas to those looking for a fun and inspiring Christmas story.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

CD Recommendation: King of Christmas by Colin Buchanan

Product description:

Get ready, get set and GO! Here comes Colin’s amazing Christmas album – King of Christmas! Colin follows up his best-selling “Jesus Rocks The World” with this rip-roaring collection of new songs celebrating the joy and wonder of the birth of God’s own Son, King Jesus.

With the songs like the uplifting “Happy Happy Day”, the rocking “Merry Merry Christmas”, the funky techno “Glory to God in the Highest” and the rumpty tumpty “The Greatest Christmas Gift” (featuring guest vocalist and ventriloquist puppet, Martin Clifford), Colin retells the story of the first Christmas with biblical faithfulness and an irrepressible sense of fun.

Narelle: For a number of years, King of Christmas has been a favourite Christmas CD in my house. My kids have enjoyed singing along to “Jesus Saves! Jesus Saves!” (tune of Jingle Bells), “On That Very First Christmas” and “Merry Merry Christmas”.

The songs have Colin’s distinctive Aussie style, with catchy tunes that will help children focus on Jesus’ birth as the true meaning of Christmas. I highly recommend King of Christmas if you are looking for a fun and contemporary Christmas album with a Biblical message that will engage children of all ages.

More information can be found at Koorong and Word (Aussie Christian Retailers).

The Agony of Lies (plus book giveaway)

by Laura O’Connell

I’m delighted to be here as your guest blogger today, Narelle. Thanks for having me.

‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive.’

This quote from Marmion, the poem of Scottish author and poet, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)  reminds us humans have lied ever since Adam and Eve walked upon the earth.

Lies lurk at the core of human dysfunction. The spidery trails of a lie start out as well-intentioned comments meant to spare the recipient’s feelings. We hide behind the whispers, ‘No one will know.’; ‘We’ll keep it quiet.’; ‘We’re doing this to keep everyone safe’. The lies continue, weaving and crossing over, getting bigger and gaining momentum until they impact innocent lives.

The lies we tell are flimsier than the spider web which, for their makeup and design, can tolerate an enormous amount of pressure, but lies aren’t so resilient. So, what’s the point of lying? We tell harmless lies every day to make people feel good. ‘You look good in that dress’. We’re trying to lift their self-esteem. When a woman feels she’s having a bad hair day, her husband may tell her she ‘looks beautiful’ to give her a confidence boost.

But the darker lies go deep into our minds, controlling our thoughts and actions, manipulating every part of our lives. They sit just below the surface of our consciousness waiting to be triggered and released by a thoughtless choice of words. When we’re tripped by lies that affect us in a negative way, we act irrationally and our lives begin to unravel sometimes with dire consequences.

In my latest novel, Web Of Lies, before they were believers, Aunt Sonia, and Ellen and David Hunt, manipulated their children’s lives believing they were protecting them and their innocent grandchild. But eight years later, they are Christians, and their family is about to be torn apart as the lies are exposed. The Holy Spirit works in their hearts: ‘Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.’ Colossians 3:9. David and Ellen have no option but to reveal the truth knowing their family could be destroyed if they continued with the deceit.

Are you living a truth-filled spiritual life, or are you living in the flesh where sometimes lying can seem to be an easier option than the truth? Share a time you wished you’d been truthful, and be eligible to go in the draw to win a copy of Web Of Lies.

LauraO'Connell_FB_Profi#50D (2)

LAURA O’CONNELL enjoys writing stories about second chances in love and life. She calls the Gold Coast home, however, her curious nature leads her on adventures to locations that surprise and inspire her. Laura has a passion for telling a good story set in places where she has lived and travelled.


Back cover blurb:

High school sweethearts, Stephanie and Lachlan are torn apart by circumstance, bad decisions and a web of lies, leaving an unknown future for their son, Ryan.

Eight years later they reconnect, but the time apart has changed them. The family had made decisions based on lies and deceit and now must find a way to either reveal the truth or find another option. On the surface, their arrangements seemed flawless, but dig deeper, and the people they thought they knew aren’t as they appear.

Lachlan and Stephanie are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and the entire family is compelled to reveal the truth, find forgiveness, and renew loving one another. But the hardest decision is still to come … where does Ryan live?

Narelle: Laura, thanks for visiting with us today. We are giving away a copy of Web Of Lies to a reader who comments on this post and answers Laura’s question (Share a time you wished you’d been truthful) before midnight on Monday, December 16 (Australian Eastern Standard Time). Print copy available for Aussie mailing addresses and electronic copy for international.

Please include your name with your comment and leave an email address [ ] at [ ] dot [ ] where you can be reached or remember to check our blog post on Wednesday, December 19 when we will announce the winner. You can follow our blog by email, Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page to receive notifications of new blog posts.

“Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.”

Book Recommendation: No Substitute by Susan Diane Johnson

Back cover blurb:

First loves never last . . . except when they do. When Amy Welsh returns to Goose Bay as a substitute teacher, she has no intention of seeing Quentin Macmillan, the man who once left her waiting in the rain clutching her suitcase and dreaming of becoming his wife. Seventeen years later, his teenage daughter shows up in Amy’s class with plans to reunite her widowed father with the woman he has always loved. When the assignment is forgiveness and healing, will this young teacher pass the test?

Narelle: I’ve squeezed in an extra fiction book recommendation this week because I’m delighted that my dear friend, Suzie Johnson, is celebrating the release of her debut novel. Suzie is also one of my critique partners and it’s wonderful to finally see No Substitute in print.

I really enjoyed reading No Substitute, a fun and light hearted reunion romance between childhood sweethearts Amy and Quentin. Amy returns to Goose Bay, hoping to get past her teenage infatuation with Quentin once and for all. She never knew the real reason why their teen romance ended and Quentin married someone else so soon after she left town. Quentin’s teenage daughter is in Amy’s class, and she sets in motion a plan to push her father and Amy together.

Amy and Quentin are fascinating characters who deal with situations that challenge their faith. Amy grows in her faith as she rediscovers Goose Bay and her love for Quentin. He is a lovable hero who is doing his best to raise his teen daughter on his own. We see Quentin’s faith in action and his willingness to forgive in difficult and challenging situations. A very cute duck named Rufus also features in the story, set in Washington State. I highly recommend this book to those looking for an entertaining and inspiring Christian romance with a forgiveness theme.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

ACRBA Tour Back to Resolution by Rose Dee



3 – 7 December



is introducing 


Back to Resolution

(Even Before Publishing November 2012)

by Rose Dee


About the Author:

Rose Dee


Rose Dee was born in Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel.

Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, decided to try her hand at writing two years ago. The result of that attempt is her first novel, ‘Back to Resolution’.

Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women.

Rose’s other releases include, ‘Beyond Resolution’ – the second book in the ‘Resolution’ series. And ‘A New Resolution’ – the final book in the series.

Rose has also co-written a novel in conjunction with three other outstanding Australian Authors; ‘The Greenfield Legacy’.

Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pup, Noodle.


Book Description

Back to Resolution

Bay Anders is lost. She enjoys every privilege a wealthy upbringing affords, but the void in her soul refuses to be filled.Her mother’s dying revelation drives Bay to the brink of self destruction, before a move to Australia changes everything. She embarks upon a search for her father that leads her to his island home, into a hazardous melting pot of hostile locals and a mystery – her father’s disappearance.The only person who can help her is a strong, selfassured and intensely magnetic man. Bay must fight an overwhelming attraction to stay focused on her goal.

Flynn McKenna is hiding from the world. A past filled with mistakes drove him to withdraw from society and live in seclusion. But the arrival of a woman he cannot avoidshatters his solitary existence. As the search for Bay’s father unites them, can he resist his desire for her?It becomes a race against time as developers try to take over the island.

From the glittering streets of LA, to the beautiful Daintree forest in North Queensland, to the idyllic island `Resolution’, Back to Resolution is a romantic mystery that shows how far a little faith can go.

Website – http://rosedee.com/

Narelle: I posted a book recommendation for Back to Resolution on July 19. It can be viewed at the link below.