Sunday, June 30, 2013


Coming Up This Week


 Donna Fletcher Crow


Marion Stroud


Jennifer Rogers Spinola


Sandra Orchard: An Independence Day Twist

Friday Devotion

Kathi Macias: Celebrating Our Freedom



Dale Harcombe's novel, Streets on a Map, is now available in eBook format for $3.99. You can find it at Amazon at the following link:


New Book Releases

Lisa Harris' romantic suspense set in the US, Stolen Identity, is a June 2013 release from Love Inspired Suspense. 

Sandra Orchard's romantic suspense set in Canada, Deadly Devotion, is a June 2013 release from Revell Publishing.


Upcoming Book Releases

Jo-Anne Berthelsen's book set in England and Australia, The Inheritance, will be an August 2013 release from Even Before Publishing.

Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Raspberries and Vinegar, Book 1 in the Farm Fresh Romance series, will be an August 2013 release from Choose NOW Publishing.

Sandra Orchard's book, Fatal Inheritance, will be an August 2013 release from Love Inspired Suspense.

Lisa Harris' romantic suspense set in the US, Dangerous Passage, Book 1 in the Southern Crimes series, will be a September 2013 release from Revell. 

Kathi Macias' historical set in the US, England and France, The Doctor’s Christmas Quilt, will be an October 2013 release from New Hope Publishers.

Donna Fletcher Crow's romantic suspense set in England, A Jane Austen Encounter, Book 3 in The Elizabeth and Richard Mysteries series, will be a 2013 release from Stonehouse Ink.

Narelle Atkins' debut contemporary romance set in Australia, Falling for the Farmer, will be a February 2014 release from Heartsong Presents.

To find more International Christian Fiction books, please visit our 2013 - 2015 Book Releases page and Backlist Titles.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/

A week or so I reached a milestone on my blog: I published my 100th post. Woo hoo.

I started writing blog posts 3 years ago, however, only started publishing them on my website in September last year. So in fact I’ve actually written about 250 posts but only 100 have seen the light of day.

My US distributor had encouraged me last year to become an active blogger writing two or three posts a week so I could build a community of readers who might then read Angelguard. But writing and publishing blog posts doesn’t necessarily get you readers. Readers, firstly, have to find your blog.

For six months or so I published two or three posts a week on various subjects: 
  • my publishing journey
  • some perspectives on spiritual warfare and prayer as that is what Angelguard is about,
  • my musings on what I’m studying and reading,
  • book reviews.

I don’t have many readers and that’s okay for now. It’s a journey which I’m enjoying.

Fiction vs Non-Fiction

The majority of fiction authors I read don’t blog. I read mostly in the suspense/thriller genre in the Christian market. There is one author who has published eight novels who now blogs consistently each week. However, this is uncommon amongst the authors I read.

That’s not to say other fiction authors don’t blog. There are a number of authors that share a blog so each author only writes once a week, fortnight or month depending on the number of collaborators.

It makes a lot of sense for non-fiction writers to blog. I read a lot of non-fiction and many of these authors blog consistently. They are able to share their “expertise” in blog posts.

However, for a fiction author it’s more challenging for a number of reasons:
  1. Writing time is precious so when we do have time we want to be working on our manuscripts, not blog posts,
  2. What do our readers what to read from us? Our stories. Certainly there is related material we can provide, for example, our publishing journey, character insights, deleted scenes, and so on. However, unless you have a lot of material this soon runs out.
  3. There are alternative mechanisms for building one’s tribe of readers: email newsletters, Facebook, and so on.
  4.  Lack of enjoyment from blogging.

Successful bloggers feed their readers. That’s why people keep coming back.

So why blog?

Agent Rachelle Gardner wrote a magnificent post on the subject late last year. I’d encourage you to read it.

Reasons why I continue to blog:
  1. I enjoy it. I’m keen to establish a second writing voice, not just my novel voice. This helps me when drafting posts for ICFW, Christian Writers Downunder (CWD) and ACFW that I contribute to on a regular basis.
  2. I love promoting other authors. So I now interview authors and promote their work with giveaways and such. This week I’m featuring Tosca Lee and Ted Dekker on the release of “Sovereign”.
  3. It helps me explore aspects of my faith. Writing helps me crystallise my thinking. In addition, having others contribute to the discussion aids my thinking and I hope theirs.
  4. I plan to add additional information that is relevant to the Angelguard Chronicles that I trust readers will enjoy.
  5. I hope this experience will enable me to develop more guest spots on other relevant blogs. What is clearly evident in the non-fiction world, guest posting is very important in building one’s tribe and/or expertise.

Do you blog? What tips do you have for we novice bloggers? Would you like to blog? Did you blog but have now stopped? I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on blogging.

Take care and keep up that writing.

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Northern Sydney. Ian's first novel, Angelguard, was released recently in US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Five Love Languages for Characters

Hi! Lucy here.

Have you ever heard of the book "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman? A great book for understanding how we each show and receive love in our personal relationships with a spouse, child, or friends.
Image courtesy of Amazon.

Today I wanted to throw out some suggestions as to how these principles can be applied to deepen the characters in our stories....

The Five Love Languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

Words of Affirmation:

A character with this love language will show love--and receive love--by saying it out loud. This character won't 'feel' loved unless the other person says it, writes it as a note, or expresses love via some form of words... (sky writing anyone??).
Not just applicable to romance stories, Joe Blow living his life in an action adventure isn't going to feel appreciated/liked/any-other-substitute-love-word-that-men-use by his best buddy unless it's verbalized.
He's going to be the one jotting down notes, or dispensing advice/encouragement when the chips are down. He'll also reach for that last burst of energy when someone encourages him verbally. She'll be the one who always says "I love you" before hanging up the phone. Who writes cute Post-It notes and sticks them to the fridge...and who will be devastated if her significant other doesn't say "I love you" in reply.

Quality Time:

This is the character (typically female) that is always at the other for 'spending time with me'.
Needs eye-to-eye contact.
Undivided attention. If the TV is on, or the other character's gaze keeps drifting toward the out!
Providing that quality, individual time for a character can be a challenge, especially if there is high stakes or a tight deadline involved in the storyline. What sort of unique challenges can you think up that would either make the character feel more loved (full from Quality Time), or unloved/unwanted?

Receiving Gifts:

This one is easy to pick ... they never show up at a party or dinner without something in hand, usually gift wrapped. A character whose love language is gifts will keep mementos, and delights in surprising the other person with gifts. Think mums with a 'little something special' in a lunchbox for a child/spouse. A killer who leaves a parting 'gift' with his victim. A friend who saves the best lolly for you. Flowers from hubby--for no particular reason.

Side note: in my book 3 which I am planning to write, the hero has this love language. He collects something special in each town as he is searching for the heroine, and plans on giving them to her when they are reunited. He always buys carefully thought out gifts for special occasions, and he doesn't really understand hugs. :)

Acts of Service:

She is the first to offer to clean up after a church pot luck.
He has changed the oil in her car faithfully for 20 years and held down a steady job...because he loves her.
Walking the neighbours dog, or helping to pull weeds are done with enthusiasm and vim. The quintessential Girl Guide/Boy Scout, "Lend a Hand" is their daily motto.
But what if someone doesn't want their help? What if he is super organized and never allows her to help in any way? What if the mother-in-law is controlling (sorry to any MIL's out there!) and she can't do anything to feel like she has a place in the family? What if all his acts of service are only viewed as duties, and not for the acts of love that they are? What if, what if....

Physical Touch:

This is apparently the most common love language to men, usually expressed through sex or frequent touch--a hand to a shoulder, or sitting close on the couch.
You've met this character at church, or in a group of friends...they hug and they touch. They hug often...and they don't like to let go. (Can you tell this isn't my love language? lol). I once met a lady who LOVED to hug, and when she attended her son's wedding, she wore a wrist corsage so her flowers wouldn't get crushed from hugging. She planned her hugging, even down to her corsage choices. True story!
Examples: Think of a chatty teen who intersperses her conversation with frequent taps to the other person's arm/shoulder.
The son who gives a quick hug on the way out the door, or likes to play tag.
The toddler who likes to sit on dad's lap, or wrap her arms around mum's leg while they are waiting in line.
The teenage couple who are practically joined at the hip. And so on.
On the flip side, a character whose love language is Physical Touch is going to get himself into strife when he's in an all-guy situation, especially if the other men have larger personal space, or don't like being touched--even a friendly clap on the shoulder. The wife who just wants a hug vs. the husband who always buys flowers. The mum who hugs and the teen daughter who just wants to be told she's loved.

How to apply:

Any character will most likely only 'speak' the love language they know personally. They don't 'speak' the other person's language, just like my character who likes to give gifts but doesn't see the big deal with hugs. He doesn't 'speak' her language, and nor will he--until he learns it.

I think applying these principles would be most helpful in romance stories, but people are people no matter what story they live in, so this could easily be used in other genres as well. :)

Suggestion: pick two main characters and assign a love language to them. Then think about what characteristics they would have from that. How would they interact with each other within those boundaries? What weaknesses would they have? What strengths? How can you pit them against each other to make sparks fly? And how can you resolve this in the end to a satisfactory conclusion? What do they learn about each other?

The Five Love Languages. Great book. I highly recommend it, not just for your characters, but also for yourself. It really helps to put the boot on the other foot and try to understand how other people work. Personally, it really helped me as a teen to see why my dad would never say he loved me or hug me, but would take me with him when he went to work down the paddock or visited friends. Once I understood the different languages we each speak I could interpret his, and other people's actions and--most importantly--see the love behind it.

God has made us in his image, a now cracked reflection of his perfection. In him, all five love languages dwell perfectly together. Let us purpose to show love to one another--in all languages and always with each other's good in mind. And may our characters do likewise.

All the best as you write for His glory, Lucy. <3

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Retrieving Data From an Old Hard Drive

Last time I described how to retrieve a lost file by using recovery software. Today I would like to show you how you can recover data from an old machine that is no longer working.

Perhaps your old machine has died and you have some old files that you would like to transfer to a new machine. That's easy enough if the old machine is still working, but what do you do if it refuses to boot? You could take it to a computer store and ask them to do it but that can get expensive. Here is a relatively cheap solution that you can use at home and is especially useful if your new machine is a PC and you don’t want to open the case, or if you want to transfer data to a laptop.

**Important** Always make sure to turn off the power and remove the power cable before opening your PC case. If you are removing a hard disk from a laptop, remove the battery first.

The first thing to do is remove your hard drive from the old machine. In a PC this is easy enough and just involves removing the side panel. There is normally at least one screw at the back of the machine that holds the side panel in place. Once the side panel is off, locate the hard disk. If you're not sure, see the image below. Remove any screw holding it in place, remove any cables (power and data), and slide it out of your case.

On a laptop, check the user manual. This will usually show you where the hard disk is situated. It can normally be removed by undoing a couple of screws and sliding it out.
At this point, you could open up your new desktop and connect the old drive of you wanted. For the purposes of this article, we'll assume you don't want to do this, or that you have a laptop.
Hard Drive

**Important** Always treat your hard drives with care. They can be damaged if treated roughly.

Now that you have your hard drive out of the old machine, you need to identify the type. There are three different types of drive:
- SSD (solid state)
IDE Imterface
SATA Interface

These come in two common sizes:- 3.5 inch for desktops
- 2.5 inch for laptops

2.5 inch & 3.5 inch drives

The last (SSD) is still quite rare and quite expensive, so you probably won't need to bother about that type at the moment. For now, we'll assume that you have either an IDE or SATA drive, in one of two sizes (2.5 or 3.5 inches).

Once you have identified your drive, you will need an external USB adapter or drive case. These usually cost about $20 at Amazon. Select the type that suits your drive.

Once you have the drive case, open it up and connect the hard drive. Next, connect it via the supplied USB cable to your new machine and turn it on. The drive should appear as an external storage device on your new machine. You should now be able to access your old files. You can also continue to use the drive as a storage device, for backups for example.

If the external drive is unresponsive, it may be that your old hard drive is broken. This is harder to fix and requires professional help.
Good luck!

Here is an adaptor for sale at Amazon that allows you to connect a 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch SATA or IDE hard drive to another computer via USB. There is no enclosure, so it is more for if you want to transfer the data before discarding the drive :
(there’s also a customer video, which shows how to connect it)

For long-term use, here is an enclosure for 3.5 inch SATA or IDE drives:

And here’s one for 2.5 inch IDE drives:

And for 2.5 inch SATA drives:

If you want to install the hard drive into your new PC, I recommend this guide:

Monday, June 24, 2013

When Everything Changes

This time next week, I will be unemployed.

I haven't been unemployed since I was 14. Today I'm, well let's just say the number has not started with a 1 for a long time!

I didn't set out to not have a job. I haven't not had a job in such a long time, I don't even remember what it's like. Late last year we bought a new house, that came with a very large mortgage. I planned on having a job well into the foreseeable future. Then at the beginning of this year some things happened on that front that found me at a crossroads. And after much prayer, angsting and God answering in some pretty miraculous ways to my Gideon fleece moments of "God, if you want me to quit, then please do X, Y and Z" it became crystal clear that His time for me where I am is done.

And so with no safety net, no irons in the fire, no clamoring job offers, I'm walking into the unknown.

And it feels good.

The last few months have been a limbo land. Firstly with coming to terms with quitting with nowhere to go and then watching the doors to various opportunities either close resoundingly shut or sense that they are not doors He has for me to walk through.

This time in a week, I will wake up, send my husband off to work and my toddler off to daycare and I will write. For all of July, I am going to be a fulltime writer until I finish the first draft of my current project.

No more excuses. No more hiding behind, "I'm work full-time and am a pastor's wife and a toddler mom and my house looks like something exploded, so it's a miracle I can scratch out the few thousand words a week that I do" whining. My butt is going to be planted in a chair for hours at a time, day after day. Until it is done.

I am excited. I am grateful. I am terrified.

What if I can't do it? What if I show up and the words don't? What if I do it, but my agent hates the result? What if I spend all this time writing when I could be looking for a new job and no one wants it? What if I've had this dream of being a writer for all these years, and then when I get the opportunity, I discover that I hate it? Why do I get this opportunity, when there are real writers out there, with real contracts, and actual published books, who would give their left leg for this?

A friend text me recently. Psalm 62: My soul finds rest in God alone.

Teetering on the brink of the unknown. My soul finds rest in God alone. I don't know what this new life will look like. No suits. No 24/7 Blackberry. No opening the weekend papers and getting angry. No days where I leave home before my son wakes up and get back after he is asleep. No knowing if the next book I write will find favor with publishers. No knowing when I might return to my profession, or if a whole new one lies around the next turn. My soul finds rest in God alone.

 Because when everything changes, one thing doesn't. The One who holds it all.

Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand with her pastor husband and ninja toddler. Her husband holds out great hopes that her "time-out" will also mean cleaning the bathroom every now and then.

Writing contemporary romance, she is proudly represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Inc. and loves to be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Coming Up This Week


 Kara Isaac


Paul Baines


Lucy Morgan-Jones


Ian Acheson

Friday Devotion


Contest Giveaway Winners

Lisa is the winner of Dana Mentink's book, Jungle Fire (Narelle's post, June 11).

Jo is the winner of Lisa Harris' book, Stolen Identity (LeAnne's post, June 12).

Congratulations to all our winners!



Dale Harcombe's novel, Streets on a Map, is now available in eBook format for $3.99. You can find it at Amazon at the following link:


New Book Releases

Lisa Harris' romantic suspense set in the US, Stolen Identity, is a June 2013 release from Love Inspired Suspense. 

Sandra Orchard's romantic suspense set in Canada, Deadly Devotion, is a June 2013 release from Revell Publishing.


Upcoming Book Releases

Jo-Anne Berthelsen's book set in England and Australia, The Inheritance, will be an August 2013 release from Even Before Publishing.

Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Raspberries and Vinegar, Book 1 in the Farm Fresh Romance series, will be an August 2013 release from Choose NOW Publishing.

Sandra Orchard's book, Fatal Inheritance, will be an August 2013 release from Love Inspired Suspense.

Lisa Harris' romantic suspense set in the US, Dangerous Passage, Book 1 in the Southern Crimes series, will be a September 2013 release from Revell. 

Kathi Macias' historical set in the US, England and France, The Doctor’s Christmas Quilt, will be an October 2013 release from New Hope Publishers.

Donna Fletcher Crow's romantic suspense set in England, A Jane Austen Encounter, Book 3 in The Elizabeth and Richard Mysteries series, will be a 2013 release from Stonehouse Ink.

To find more International Christian Fiction books, please visit our 2013 - 2015 Book Releases page and Backlist Titles.

Friday, June 21, 2013

DEVOTION: Search My Heart, O God ~ Donna Pyle

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” 
Psalm 139:23-24

Eighteen years ago, I visited Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. As an adventurous person, naturally I signed up for cave exploration and eagerly looked forward to it.

On the appointed day, the tour guide gathered our group and carefully led us 250 feet below the earth’s surface by way of steep steps, narrow crevices, and general spookiness.

By the time I reached the cave bottom, my legs shook from exertion. We found ourselves in a large, cavernous space lit by electricity. Once the tour guide ensured that we had all descended safely—and after issuing the proper warning—he turned off the lights.

Few words can adequately describe the absolute blackness that engulfed us. The thick darkness felt physically oppressive. I almost couldn’t breathe. And frankly, it was downright scary.

Despite knowing that I was surrounded by people, I felt completely lost and alone. After a couple of minutes when our eyes adjusted to the blackness, the tour guide struck a solitary match.

The effect was astonishing.

I could clearly see each person, the cave walls and even the high ceiling. That small light completely expelled the cavernous darkness.

That experience left an indelible impression on me. It illustrated better than any words where the blackness of sin would have taken mankind had Jesus not freely offered His light in the place of our darkness.

The darkness of sin is ugly, engulfing, oppressive and hopeless. It causes us to feel completely lost and alone. Do we really want our holy God searching and finding that in us? You bet we do! Only when God shines His light into that darkness do we have any hope of recognizing, overcoming and expelling it through His power.

By sending Jesus as the Light of the world, God determined that we should not be trapped in oppressive caves of darkness.

He desires for us to live abundantly in the refining fire of His truth. “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light.” John 3:21

Thank God today for the amazing gift of His forgiveness.

Have you ever experienced that sort of darkness, like I did in the Mammoth cave? Like to tell us about it?

DONNA PYLE is a speaker, author, Bible teacher and worship leader with a passion for studying and teaching God’s Word. Since launching Artesian Ministries in 2007, she has authored 20 full-length Bible studies, as well as numerous smaller Bible studies, devotions, and magazine articles. She has released two DVD-based Bible study series and a small-group based Bible study book, The God of All Comfort, through Concordia Publishing House on August 15, 2012. She regularly travels throughout the U.S. and internationally, speaking at conferences, conventions, women’s retreats, prayer luncheons, and special events. Read more about Donna at her website.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Scripting a Five Minute Radio Program

It's a challenge. A continual challenge. Often when I think I'm completely out of ideas, at he last moment I'll see something on TV, or somebody will make a comment and it get's my mind into gear.

You see, after many years of producing a fifteen minute program, we've just begun a new one five minute we've named VANTAGE POINT. It begins in the secular and gives the Bible answer to issues that are on people's minds. I guess it's something like 'casting your bread on the waters' because only the Lord knows who will be listening at a time when they might need to hear a message that has the potential to change their life. Or perhaps encourage someone to take a stand, or explain something from God's point of view.

Even so, it would be wonderful if anyone of you in our writing fraternity would share an idea that's on your mind that could make a great five minute script. Oh, I know we're all busy, writing, editing, marketing, and so on, but something you have thought about, or even more exciting...a rough SCRIPT would be an extraordinary gift to help get the message out. We've heartily embraced this commitment, and how wonderful if you feel led to have a share in this great outreach.

At present we are heard on scores of FM stations throughout Australia. So, like the man in Macedonia in Paul's vision, I can also say 'Won't you come over (via email) & help us?'

Rita Galieh is also a novelist with two books published and two now being looked at by Even Before Publishing an Australian publisher.

If you'd like to contact Rita about this, her email is:  ritagal  (at)  optusnet  (dot) com  (dot) au

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Farm Fresh Romance

Perhaps most people don't think of farms when they consider the word "fresh." For those of us who love country living, though, the aroma of 15 piggies in their enclosure is more to be desired than the odor of vehicle exhaust pipes from packed city streets.

But what has that to do with romance?

I've met an urbanite or two with star-studded visions of rural life. They focus on the quietness—which can be hard to find when raucous birds are nesting in the eaves or the calves bawl, having been separated from their mamas, or when the rooster decides it's daytime at four in the morning.

They focus on milk warm from the cow, eggs warm from the chickens, and strawberries warm from the vine. They don't see the long, sweaty, backbreaking hours of haying and repairing fences and weeding gardens.

And yet, romance.

I know we are on the farm, my husband and I, because we can't imagine life elsewhere. We live in tune with nature's rhythms: day and night, sun and rain, planting and harvest.

A new farming rhythm has been discovered as some urbanites begin to crave the simplicity of farm life in their reading material. The Atlantic proclaims Chick Lit is Dead, Long Live Farm Lit, and voila, a new genre is born.

Interestingly enough, just a few days after that fascinating article released in May, I signed a contract for 3 novels in a Farm Fresh Romance series. Talks had been in the works prior to the article, of course, so the timing is merely a coincidence. And yet is anything a coincidence in the life of a believer?

I think not.

I think God has been preparing me for this day for several years, since he began to put these stories into my imagination. Yes, the first 2 books are written, which is a good thing, as the first one, Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance , releases August 1, 2013, from Choose NOW Publishing.

Would you enjoy Farm Fresh Romance? My series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of three college graduates who move onto a reclaimed farm. They plan to take the rural area by storm with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods.

Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming.

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can't handle? And surely there's something sweet beneath all that vinegar.

I'm so excited to share this book—and the entire series!—with you. Many parts of all three tales were born from my experiences and those of my friends and family members. We live the farm life every day, whether it's a day for digging manure into a garden bed or a day for sipping Raspberry Vinegar in the hammock.

This is my life, and I'm delighted to invite you in.

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. Visit her website and blog to glimpse inside her world.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I wonder how many writers like myself spend time browsing in bookshops – sometimes perhaps too much time for my bank account. I always check out first of all the Christian Fiction titles, especially new women’s fiction releases from fellow Australian authors and my husband’s publisher, Even Before Publishing.

A few weeks ago I was intrigued by the cover and title of “Against the Unknown” on a book display. It was not the kind of book I would normally pick up but the back blurb made it sound like a fascinating read. I couldn’t put it down! Besides simply being a page turning story, it is a book that has very thought provoking and challenging concepts about the Christian walk and being reminded that “...our struggle is not against flesh and blood... 

I wanted you to know about this writer, Graham Carter who is an Australian author of inspirational fiction. For over a decade his novels have surprised and delighted readers with their stories of ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances. 
Graham lives in Brisbane, Australia, with Sue, his wife of 37 years. As well as writing, he enjoys travel, camping, sport, and spending time with his 8 grandchildren. Graham and Sue travel regularly to Uganda where they support a number of aid programs amongst the poor. 

His writing journey is very interesting and I wonder how many other writers like myself can identify with some, if not all of it.

     I was inspired by the story of how a young Sydney Law Student self-published a novel and trudged around city bookstores with a suitcase full of copies hoping to sell them. Some of you probably know the story of how one of his books was picked off the shelf by an agent for Harper Collins, and the story of Matthew Riley, best-selling author began.
     I thought, “If he can do it, so can I.” The next morning, I sat at my old 386 computer and began tapping away with one finger on a keyboard. For years I had been intrigued with the idea of what Heaven might be like, so that became my task. To write a novel about Heaven that was not only true to Biblical references, but that portrayed it as a place that was exciting, fun, adventurous, uplifting, somewhere we couldn’t wait to get to. Not knowing anything about how to write a book, I wrote 13 consecutive chapters about heaven. Then I decided it needed a bit more intrigue, suspense - something we won’t necessarily find in heaven, so I planted my imagination firmly back on the ground and wrote the rest of the story, which takes place on earth, around those 13 chapters.
     9 months later the manuscript for ‘No Eye Has Seen’ was complete. I went looking for an Aussie publisher of Christian fiction. I found one had just closed its doors and another that wasn’t accepting manuscripts. “Okay their loss,” I thought. This book was going to be so big, publishers would be falling over one other to sign me up. I began sending submissions to US publishers. Then I sat back, waiting for a phone call from one of them, telling me they had booked me a first class ticket to come over to the States to help promote this wonderful book. I guess I don’t need to tell you what happened.
     So I self-published. I found a printer, organised a cover and ordered 500 copies. I sold them in about 6 months through various small Christian bookstores, then printed another 300. Two of our largest distributers, Koorong and Word, had agreed to take them so I concentrated on those outlets.
     While all this was going on I got an email from a small publisher in North Carolina who had read the manuscript and wanted to publish. “Woo, hoo, here we go.” They were going to publish next Fall, they said. Fall came and went. ‘We are including it in our Spring releases’, they told me. You guessed it – Spring came and went with no publication. This went on for 2 years with continual excuses and procrastination from the publisher. Eventually I gave up.
     I kept writing through this time. I completed the sequel , then a third stand-alone novel, and I even started on a fourth. But still, I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere in the publishing world. Then a break – a new publisher started up in Australia and they were accepting manuscripts. I sent off my submission and the ‘new submissions’ editor loved it. I flew from Queensland to Sydney and met with her over coffee. We discussed editing, publication timetables etc. … then she left the company! But the new editor loved it too and yes, “we are going to publish, just not sure when.”
     Hmm – this was beginning to sound familiar.
     Around this time (2006) my wife and I moved to Africa to do some work with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We lived in Uganda for a year. I continued to correspond with Ark House Press and after more delays “No Eye Has Seen” finally hit the stores a few years later. There was still much to learn about promotion and unfortunately it didn’t leap off the shelves as rapidly as I had hoped. A couple of years later Ark House agreed to publish another one of my novels, Guardians of Eden, but again without adequate promotion it too came to nothing.
     Well, I pretty well gave up. I had written 4 novels, had 2 published, but I was really questioning whether any of it had been worthwhile. And lo and behold I heard about another new publisher that had recently come on the scene. “Right – I’ll give it one last go.”
I sent the manuscript to Wombat Books and heard back within a week – yep, Rochelle wanted to publish it – not this year, list is already full, but possibly next. But Rochelle wanted to do something that my previous publisher hadn’t bothered with. She wanted to edit my work. Well, that was new, but it couldn’t be that hard could it? If I thought composing a novel was tough, I was in for a sharp learning curve. Rewriting a novel several times over is much harder. It seems that writing styles had changed quite a bit in the 10 years I had been at it, but no one had told me – until I met Annie Hamilton, the President of Omega Writers.

       Anyway, before I completely run out of space here, let me tell you about this current book. ‘Against the Unknown’ is the culmination of several years of writing experience, many months of editing, and a fair bit of research into the American political scene. It’s a story set in the US, but with a strong Australian flavour in the guise of an Aussie surfer searching for the meaning of life. It’s a story that explores the influence of the spiritual world on our own. We get to glimpse the sometimes complex and sometimes insidious ways our lawmakers are influenced, and through it all we see the sovereign grace of God at work in the lives of ordinary people. Most of all we get to see the power of prayer as a spiritual weapon that God has given us to defeat the enemy.

Set on the US east coast, 'Against the Unknown' traces the journeys of four separate characters: a state senator, a runaway teenager, a middle-aged hippie, and an Aussie surfer, all of whom are facing challenges in their lives. It is a story with lots of intrigue, a number of twists and turns and an ending that surprised me. There’s some romance, a dose of adventure, and plenty of action.

Above all the enjoyment of a great storyline, as it has for me I pray it vividly reminds you of the truth of Ephesians 6:12 , and drives you too to more faith, obedience and fervent prayer when we see the efforts of the enemy of our Lord in our world today.

This book is available in print where good Christian books are sold, including Even Before Publishing (a division of Wombat Books) or e-book at KoorongWord iTUNES and Amazon (CLICK ON THE COLOURED NAMES TO TAKE YOU TO THE WESITES)

More information on Graham's website click HERE

and on his Facebook and Goodreads.


Mary has three more of her Great Southland series scheduled to be released in June and July as e-books by Truly Yours Digital Editions. Watch out for her Hope in the Great Southland, Love in the Great Southland and Great Southland Gold.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I HATE SNAKES--by Christine Lindsay

As long as I can remember I've been terrified of snakes. Can't even look at them on TV or a picture in a book. You'll never catch me walking in a jungle. So, in my newest release I wanted to have not just one snake scene, but two. My way of being as brave as my heroines, I suppose.

My husband helped me with the research. He'd print off the articles from the internet, but before he gave the articles to me, he'd cut out the pictures of the snakes using scissors. That's how I got what I needed for the following scene.

 Snake Bite Scene # 2 from Captured by Moonlight

Searing pain jabbed into Adam’s calf.
He cried out. Light from the headlamps reflected two pinpoints of light. A snake scuttled into the bush, and Laine started to rush in his direction.
“Wait, Laine. Don’t come closer.”
“What is it?” she shouted over the gale.
“A snake.” He clenched his fists and bit down on his lip with the throbbing in his leg. “Ruddy thing bit me as I plodded along in my size ten boots. Blast! I should have known better.” He looked back at her. “Stay where you are. There might be more than one.”
He studied the ground in the dim light. Unable to see any sign of movement, he shivered. The blasted reptile had gone. All he’d been able to see in that quick flash was that it was green.
Laine, heedless of his warning, joined him. “Where is the wound?”
“I told you to stay where you were.”
“Is it your leg?”
“My calf.”
She slipped her shoulder under his arm and swung her arm around his back. “Stay calm. Do you hear me? No panic. Lean on me. Put as little weight on that leg as possible. I want to get you onto the truck box.”
He put his weight on her shoulders, and she walked him back to the vehicle.
“Balance yourself against that,” she said. “I’m going to hop up there, and if you push with your arms then I’ll pull. I’ve got to get you lying down.”
“I can make it up.”
“Sorry, me luv, but I’m giving you a hand anyway.” She spoke in a fake Cockney accent, no doubt the one she used to cajole many a soldier into treatment or help them withstand the terror of dying.
She hauled him up, and without a word had him soon lying down, covered with a blanket that the rain quickly soaked.
Her hair dripped and hung down as a curtain to frame her face as she pulled off his boot and ripped the bottom of his trouser leg up to his thigh. She bent to examine the punctures at the side of his left calf and then left him to go to the cab. A moment later she returned with her medical bag. “You know the routine, no panic.”
“I know, and I assure you, Matron, I’m doing my best.”
“No talking. Save your strength. That’s the ticket.”
He watched Laine screw open the wooden cylinder of the snake-bite kit and remove the lancet. He did know the routine only far too well. She had to clean the wound and hope the crystals did the trick. After that, unless he could get to a dispensary they could only pray the snake hadn’t injected a fatal amount of venom.
“What kind of snake was it?” she asked in her no-nonsense nursing tone counterbalanced with the jovial Cockney.
“Not sure...there are two types of green snake in this area. If it was the least venomous, the whip snake, I’ll be sick for a few days but live.”
“And the other?”
“Bamboo pit viper. I think you should know...if it was the viper...the outcome is...less optimistic, I’m afraid.”
She stopped momentarily. So momentarily only someone who knew her as well as he did would notice. But she resumed her brisk composure and took the lancet in her hand with the container of potassium permanganate on the floor at her side. “Well, you’re my patient now, and I don’t allow morbid talk on my ward. As I’m sure you’re aware, this will hurt. So lie back, soldier. Grit your teeth. And think of England.”

Captured by Moonlight Prisoners to their own broken dreams…

After a daring rescue goes awry, Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana flee to the tropical south of India…and headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…but fun-loving Laine refuses to let Adam crush her heart like he had years ago. 

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts freedom will ever be hers again, much less the forbidden love for Dr. Jai Kaur that had begun to flower.

Amid cyclones, epidemics, and clashing faiths, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

About the author: Irish-born Christine Lindsay writes award-winning historical novels, and delights in weaving the endless theme of God’s redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance. The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home.

You can find Christine Lindsay’s novels on her website
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