Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA): Blog tours start in November

by Narelle Atkins


The Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA) has its first blog tour starting next week. If you’re a regular blogger and interested in writing reviews of mostly Australian Christian books, please check out the blog alliance guidelines. Joining a blog alliance is a great way to promote your favourite authors and discover new authors. Blog alliance members have the opportunity to request review copies of fiction, non-fiction and childrens books. For more information, please visit

Below is the current list of upcoming ACRBA blog tours. Publishers and authors who are interested in touring their books can check out the Book Submission Guidelines on the ACRBA website.

November 2012
Fiction 5th – 9th: Return to Baragula by Mary Hawkins
Non fiction 19th – 23rd: Bethlehem’s Warrior Baby (31 Day Devotional) by Ray Hawkins

December 2012
Fiction 3rd – 7th: Back to Resolution by Rose Dee
Non fiction 17th – 21th: Strength Renewed: Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer by Shirley Corder

January 2013
Fiction 7th – 11th: A Simple Mistake by Andrea Grigg
Non fiction 21st – 25th: God’s Poetry – The Identity and Destiny Encoded in Your Name by Anne Hamilton

February 2013
Fiction 4th – 8th: The Greenfield Legacy by Meredith Resce, Paula Vince, Amanda Deed and Rose Dee
Non fiction 18th – 22nd: Soul Friend: The story of a shared spiritual journey by Jo-Anne Berthelsen

March 2013
Fiction 4th – 8th: Tangled Secrets by Carol Preston
Childrens 18th – 22nd: More Than a Mouse by Penny Reeves

April 2013
Fiction 1st – 5th: Web of Lies by Laura O’Connell
Non fiction/Childrens 15th – 19th:

May 2013
Fiction 6th – 10th: Ellenvale Gold by Amanda Deed
Non fiction/Childrens 20th – 24th:

June 2013
Fiction 3rd – 7th: Picking up the Pieces by Paula Vince
Childrens 17th – 21st: Boondaburra by Natalie Lonsdale

Spring in Australia: Floriade

by Narelle Atkins

Spring and autumn (fall) are my two favourite seasons. The autumn leaves are pretty but the spring tulips in Canberra are stunning. I live in the nation’s capital and Canberra is known for Floriade, an annual tulip festival held in September and October.

We chose a beautiful Spring morning to visit and had a lovely time wandering around the flower displays before it became crowded.

And checked out the hand painted garden gnomes.

The kids went on a couple of rides and we enjoyed a coffee overlooking the flower beds.

Spring is a great time of year to visit Canberra and, if you like tulips, you won’t want to miss Floriade.

For more information on Floriade, please visit

Bible Society ‘Live light in 25 words’ in October

by Narelle Atkins

Bible Society Australia are encouraging people to ‘Live light in 25 words’ by reading 25 words or more from the Bible every day from October 1-31. Reading the Bible daily for 31 days can help you develop a routine and create a habit of daily Bible reading.

I have signed up for the challenge on Bible Society Australia website and my family is going to read the Gospel of Matthew during October.

You can follow our reading progress through the book of Matthew on the 30 Minute Bible Studies Facebook Page. There are 28 chapters in Matthew and our family goal is to read a chapter a day.

I’ve included a link below to a ‘Live light in 25 words’ YouTube clip to encourage and inspire you to think about taking up the challenge of daily Bible reading. We all lead busy lives and it can be easy to forget why it is important to read God’s word every day.

I hope you will take up the challenge of daily Bible reading. I’d love to hear about what you’re reading and your daily progress on our Facebook page

By liking our Facebook page you can receive our daily Bible reading updates in your newsfeed. I encourage you to spend time each day meditating on God’s word.

Aussie Christian writing resources

by Narelle Atkins

In recent months I’ve been thinking about the resources that are currently available in Australia for Christian writers. The US Christian book market for fiction and non-fiction has been booming for many years, and organisations eg. American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) have expanded accordingly to meet the needs of authors in this growing market.

I write fiction in the Christian/inspirational romance genre and I value my memberships with Romance Writers of Australia, Faith, Hope and Love Inspirational Chapter of Romance Writers of America and ACFW. ACFW has a Beyond the Borders Zone Group for international writers. I blog with International Christian Fiction Writers (ICFW), a group that was started by ACFW Beyond the Borders members who wanted to promote Christian Fiction with international themes. A number of Aussie and NZ writers are ICFW members.

I recently joined Omega Writers Inc., an organisation based in Brisbane, Australia that was established in 1991 to support and encourage Christian writers. They have members in Australia and New Zealand.

In 2010, Omega Writers Inc. established the CALEB Prize for Faith-Inspired Writing. This award promotes Christian writing in the specific areas of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and was expanded in 2011 to include an award for unpublished manuscripts.

The Word Writers Fair Getaway will be held at the Sunshine Coast on 12-14 October, 2012. Last year in November I attended The Word Writers Fair and CALEB Awards Dinner in Brisbane.

I have also blogged with Christian Writers Downunder, a writing group for Australian and New Zealand Christian writers that was set up in 2011.

There are a growing number of opportunities for Aussie Christian writers to publish in Australia and  overseas. The growth of eBook publishing is opening up a whole new world of possibilities for authors. Advances in technology and social media have allowed writers from around the world to connect in various ways.

I’ve mentioned a few groups that have been established to support Aussie writers. Is there a particular writing organisation that has helped you in your writing journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bible Society Australia: Live light in 25 words

by Narelle Atkins

During the month of October, Bible Society Australia are encouraging people to ‘Live light in 25 words’ by reading 25 words or more from the Bible every day from October 1-31.

There is a sign up page on their website and you can receive daily encouragement emails in October to help you create and maintain a habit of reading the Bible every day. You can also read the Bible with well-known Aussie Christians to inspire your daily habit. And watch ‘The Good Book talks’ – 20 minute talks from Aussie Christian leaders to encourage your Bible reading habit.

My family and I are going to participate and there was a lot of discussion over which part of the Bible we should read. We’ve chosen to read the Gospel of Matthew and our goal is to read the entire gospel during October.

I’ll post more information toward the end of September and you’ll be able to follow our daily reading progress on the 30 Minute Bible Study Facebook page. We hope you’ll join us in reading 25 words or more from the Bible during the 31 days in October.

For more information, please visit the Bible Society Australia website.

The race for an eternal prize

by Narelle Atkins

On Monday this week, talk in the Australian media included commentaries discussing why the Australian Olympic team had only won 1 gold medal. (They have won 12 silver and 7 bronze). The Aussies won 14 gold in 2008 and 17 gold in 2004. Expectations are high that the Aussie team will bring home a large number of gold medals.

Aussie swimmer James Magnuson came one hundredth of a second away from winning gold in the Mens 100m freestyle swimming final. Heartbreakingly close to a gold medal but not close enough. Winning an Olympic silver medal is an outstanding achievement and I offer my congratulations to all the competitors who have given their best and won medals at the London Games.

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in Greece was written around 55 A.D. Chapter nine includes a sporting analogy the people of Corinth could identify with because their cultural heritage included the Ancient Olympic Games. The Ancient Olympics were believed to have been held for the first time in 776 BC and continued for centuries before being abolished in 393 A.D. by Emperor Theodosius who banned pagan cults. The Ancient Olympics were linked to religious festivals for the Greek god Zeus, the ruler of Olympus.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.  

Paul uses the analogy of a runner to explain self discipline in the Christian life. Althletes undergo years of rigorous training to prepare for the Olympic Games. They make sacrifices in order to focus on achieving their Olympic dream. And unless there is a tie, only one winner will receive the prized gold medal. Four years later athletes will compete in a new race for gold. New champions will arise and previous world records will be broken as athletes strive for excellence in their chosen sport.

Paul encourages us to have purpose in the way we live our life and to look forward to receiving the prize of eternal life. There is no heartbreaking second place because we all have the opportunity to receive the eternal prize. But Paul does caution us to be aware that we can disqualify ourselves if we don’t run the race to the end and have faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Will you finish the race and receive the crown that will last forever?

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA)

by Narelle Atkins

My friend Jenny Blake (aka Ausjenny) and I have set up a new blog alliance for Australian readers. Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA) will kick off in November 2012 with fiction book tours during the first week of the month and non-fiction or children’s book tours during the third week of the month.

We’re very excited about the blog alliance and the opportunity to promote Christian books. Membership is free and we welcome both Australian and overseas members. Blog alliance members will have the opportunity to receive free review copies of books, either in print or electronic format, on the understanding they will post a review on their blog during the blog tour week. Members are not required to review every book but are encouraged to post the book information on their blog during the tour week.

If you blog regularly, read Christian books and are interested in writing book reviews, please visit the ACRBA blog to learn more about how the alliance will work.

Review copies will be sent out six weeks prior to each tour to allow reading time. Please join the alliance by the end of August if you’d like to review the featured books in November.

Below is the ACRBA Schedule for November and December.

November 2012
Fiction 5th – 9th: Return to Baragula by Mary Hawkins
Non-fiction 19th – 24th: Bethlehem’s Warrior (31 Day Devotional) by Ray Hawkins

December 2012
Fiction 3rd – 7th: Back to Resolution by Rose Dee
Non-fiction 17th – 21th: Strength Renewed: Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer by Shirley Corder

For more information please visit or you can ask questions in a comment on this post.