Tuesday, July 30, 2013


My brother Steve in the wolf shirt and his AA sponsor Zim.

This past weekend my family celebrated the best kind of party with about 50 other guests. It was Year One of my brother, Steve’s sobriety, 365 days alcohol free for the first time since he was a teenager. We had a huge barbeque and just plain celebrated.

My brother’s addiction to alcohol almost killed him several times. He lost so much—his marriage, for a while the love of his children. I share some of his journal on my blog www.christinelindsay.org in Steve’s Journal.

But we serve a God who is not into condemnation, but into redemption. God wouldn’t let my brother’s suicide attempts be successful. God kept Steve alive so that He could bring my brother to a new life—a live that is full of abundance of healed and renewed relationships, especially the renewed relationship with God Himself. That is where the fountain of life is found.

A mixed group of people attended by squeezing into our tiny little yard with their lawn chairs. Many of our guests have been in love with the Lord for decades. Other guests have never really taking much interest in God. Some were recovering alcoholics. My poor sister who is still an alcoholic turned up drunk. It was the only way she could find the courage to attend our party. But I was glad she was there, drunk or not. Maybe something got through to her that the Lord Jesus is all about parties—not the kind of parties that hurt or are full of drunkenness and foolishness, but the kind of parties where we rejoice over the redemption of a life. 

And man, can we party over that, just like the angels in heaven.

And when you think of it, that theme makes the best kind of books too.That's what I love to write, stories about broken people who discover life from the fountain of life--a life through Jesus Christ. In fact, my brother's story is such an inspiration I'm using his experience being saved from alcohol in my next book Veiled at Midnight.

Author Bio: Irish-born Christine Lindsay shares her brother’s story and other inspirational blog articles on her blog twice a week. She also writes award-winning historical novels. In Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight, Christine delights in weaving the endless theme of the Heavenly Father’s redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance. The Pacific coast of Canada, 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home.
Christine would love to connect with you on any of the following:
Christine Lindsay’s Blog where she shares inspiring stories three times a week.
Drop by her Author Facebook page  Follow her on Twitter or Pinterest

Road Trip Diary

This is a retrospective on the weekend to come, which I wanted to write about, except it hasn't happened yet, so this will have to do. You see, I'm trippin' again...New Zealand must miss me.

Tuesday 30th July: The one and only Chila Woychik will take me to the airport to catch a bus. Don't look at me funny; that's where it stops. This bus will take me first to Des Moines, then I have to change and catch another to Kansas City, where I will be met by the awesome Jan Lazo-Davis and I will enter the house with the TARDIS blue door.

Wednesday 31st July: Various culinary and conversational delights in the Davis household.

Thursday 1st August: The fantastic Robynn Tolbert, with the lovely Morgan Busse in tow, will arrive at the Davis house for brunch. Thereafter, Robynn will drive Morgan and me clear across Missouri, where we hope to find our dorm on a university campus. There we will also find our roommate, the intrepid Deborah Cullins Smith, who is bringing the necessary yummies.

Friday 2nd August: Early in the morning - far too early, really - ouch! - we will seek out the conference centre a whole kilometre distant (walk or drive? I'm thinking walk!) and sign in to the stupendous first-ever Realm Makers conference run by the amazing Becky Minor. I'm not quite sure what the day will entail, as it depends who all wants to talk to me. In any case, the evening is given over to a costume dinner, for which I may have acquired a little something rather like this.

Saturday 3rd August: Oh, the stress! I'm on a panel at 8.30 AM! After that at least the pressure is off, but just a little - in the afternoon, I must present a Splashdown Books spotlight, followed by a lecture on science fiction worldbuilding, AND THEN contribute to another panel (or was that two?). Whew. And in the evening is a public booksigning at which I truly hope to offload all 20 copies of Avenir Eclectia that I have with me.

Sunday 4th August: Hopefully a final shared brunch with leftover con-goers before heading back to Iowa...

But not for long! Rarotonga is calling my name VERY soon after that...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happily Ever After

"The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” Oscar Wilde

Do you like the fiction you read or watch to hold true to the above statement?

I do. I hope for it every time I open a book or see a movie. And when it doesn’t happen, I’m usually left feeling disappointed.

Willy Wonka: But, Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted.
Charlie: What's that?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.
—Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

So why is that important in fiction?

I’ll let Nora Roberts explain:

"Happily ever after?"
"If justice doesn't triumph and love doesn't make the circle in entertainment fiction, what's the point? Real life sucks too often."
― Nora Roberts, Angels Fall

Hope you enjoy some Happily Ever Afters!

Eva Maria Hamilton is the author of Highland Hearts, a Love Inspired Historical novel published by Harlequin.

Scotland 1748

The Battle of Culloden is over, but one Highlander’s fight has just begun…

Logan McAllister survived years of indentured servitude in the Americas to reach this moment. Now he’s returned to Scotland, ready to redeem the secret promise from Sheena Montgomery’s father – that his years as an indentured servant would earn him Sheena’s hand in marriage. But when he arrives home, he learns that Sheena’s father has died, his contract has been lost… and Sheena is engaged to another man.

To connect with Eva Maria Hamilton online, please visit her at www.evamariahamilton.com

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Coming Up This Week


 Eva Maria Hamilton


Grace Bridges


Christine Lindsay


Mary Hawkins

Friday Devotion

Jan Cline: Beware! Excellence at Work!


Contest News

Lucy Morgan-Jones placed second in the historical category of the Faith, Hope and Love Inspirational Chapter of Romance Writers of America Touched by Love Award - congratulations Lucy! 


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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

DEVOTION: Why Did I Procrastinate? by Ray Hawkins

I know I should have done it there and then. But I put it off. Distracted and forgetful I was to pay the price in sweat and a trickle of blood. The little weed became a mass of thorns and leaves. The blackberry roots also went deep.

Later, as I recovered from the exertion my procrastination created I became the preacher again. In my mind I turned the physical into the spiritual. The weed I did battle with was once a seed. It found an appropriate place to lodge and then grow. How similar to the various seeds the world and the Devil fling at a person wanting to find a crack, an open unattended area of life.

Is your Christian life like mine? I want it to be fruitful and pleasant in the sight of the Lord. That requires constant attention. When I get slack or too busy to tend my spiritual life I soon discover the world or the Devil has scattered weeds of lust, envy, bitterness, shame fear to mention but a few. Failure to deal with them when they are recognised has detrimental effects in my life of faith and worship.

The fruit and fragrance is choked and my joy in the Lord is smothered. Fortunately He doesn’t allow that to continue. He sets about to discipline, awaken and to arouse my spirit to repent. Then I have to deal with each weed according to the Lord’s manual – the bible. This can take time, more effort than if done in the beginning and a bit embarrassing when others know what’s happening.

Anyway, the effort is worth it. To honour the Lord by a weed free fruitful life is my expression of gratitude for His grace to me. May it be that I’ll be more attentive to the first signs of sprouting weeds, today!

Over to you: What weeds do you need to deal with in your life right now?

Ray Hawkins is retired after 30 years as a minister. 

He is author of five books of Biblical meditations which you can see on his blog site.

Do visit his stunning new blog and say hello!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review and giveaway of Harry Kraus' An Open Heart

I recently was privileged to read and endorse author Harry Kraus’ latest novel, An Open Heart.  For those of you who don’t know Dr. Kraus, he’s a board-certified surgeon, and medical missionary who spends part of his time working in East Africa, as well as being an accomplished writer of both non-fiction and fiction. Medical realism and gripping plotlines distinguish his writing, as he gets most of his ideas with a scalpel in hand.

An Open Heart

Their Messages—From Beyond the Grave—Might Destroy Him

They hover between life and death, their hearts stopped on the surgery table. And the messages Dr. Jace Rawlings’ open-heart surgery patients bring back from beyond the grave cannot be ignored. For they predict the deaths of people around him, and point a finger of suspicion straight at him.

It thrusts Jace into a firestorm of controversy and danger. A maelstrom blown by the darker winds of political intrigue and spiritual warfare. And the forces working against him will do anything to stop him from uncovering a truth they will kill to hide. He’d come to Kenya to establish a heart-surgery program for the poor. But what he will find in that place where he grew up will put everything at risk–his marriage, his career . . . his life.

One of the first things that drew me to Harry Kraus’ latest release was the setting. Not only does the book take place in Africa, where I live, but it takes place in Kenya where my son goes to boarding school. Everything about the setting, from Nairobi, to the small town of Kijabe, to the description of Mama Chiku's restaurant was familiar to me and I loved that.

But what I really appreciated about the book, was the strong spiritual thread. You can’t walk away from reading this book without taking another look at spiritual realities that Jace is forced to face. 

In the end, An Open Heart, is a page-turning combination of loss and redemption, along with a glimpse into the spiritual realm that shouldn’t be ignored.

To learn more about Harry and his books, please visit his website

Giveaway! Harry’s publisict has offered to give away a copy of An Open Heart to one of our readers with a US address. Please leave a comment on this post, and I will draw a winner on Saturday.

LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award nominated author who has over twenty novels and novella collections in print. She and her husband, Scott, along with their three children, live near the Indian Ocean in Mozambique as missionaries. As a homeschooling mom, life can get hectic, but she sees her writing as an extension of her ministry which also includes running a non-profit organization The ECHO Project. To find out more about her books you can visit her website.
Void where prohibited; US address winner only. 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.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The CALEB Concept

by Anne Hamilton 

Have you ever had the experience where a particular verse of Scripture suddenly seemed to leap off the page and come alive? 

One day I was reading a book when a Hebrew word seemed to jump up, grab me around the throat and demand: ‘Where’ve you been? What has taken you so long?’ The word was nasa’ and it means ‘to lift up’.

It’s a name of God: Jehovah Nissi, ‘the lord my banner’ or ‘the lord who lifts me up’.

God was first revealed as Jehovah Nissi during the desert wanderings of the Israelites. In Exodus 17, the Amalekites attacked and Moses sent Joshua into battle. Moses then lifted up his hands to heaven and, as he prayed, the Israelites prevailed. But as his arms dropped, the tide of battle turned. Aaron and Hur had to lift up his arms until such time as the Amalekites were totally defeated.

The Lord my banner alludes to working together as one team: Joshua couldn’t do it alone. He needed Moses to keep calling on the name of the One who lifts up and carries His people in battle. However Moses couldn’t do it alone, either. He was dependent on Aaron. And even Aaron couldn’t do his bit alone: he needed help from Hur. 

The more I delved into incidences of nasa’ in Scripture, the more I understood God commands a blessing when His people work together and, well… leaves us pretty much to our own devices otherwise. 

When I became President of Omega Writers, the CALEB concept was born.

CALEB is an acronym: it stands for Christian Authors Lifting Each other’s Books. 

That’s why Omega Writers sponsor the CALEB Prize. It’s about giving all entrants a higher profile for their books, regardless of whether they win or not. Ensuring they receive at least two and sometimes as many as seven reviews. Promoting excellence, for the glory of God, so that the highest quality books are given that little bit of extra ‘oomph’ to penetrate Australia’s complex marketplace. 

CALEB is in its fourth year now and we have awards for Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction and also an Unpublished section, as well as the overall CALEB Prize.

Because of the spiritual impact we’re trying to make, and also because we’re trying to demonstrate the name and nature of Jehovah Nissi in what we do, it should be no surprise if I say it hasn’t been an easy road.

The CALEB Conference is a natural extension of this ideal of lifting each other up. It’s an intimate gathering of Aussie and Kiwi authors, passionate about working together to achieve the dreams God has given them. It’s about giving as many authors as possible a showcase, not just the keynote speakers. 

For aspiring authors, there’s an amazing opportunity: three publisher’s representatives (on behalf of ten different imprints) will be taking pitches – this is just pure gold! In fact, in the Australian scene, it’s unheard of. We hope locals will appreciate the unprecedented nature of this opening and take advantage of it while it’s available. We certainly can’t guarantee it will ever happen again. 

Another very special aspect of the CALEB conference is the possibility of personal prayer, specifically for writer’s spiritual dilemmas. CALEB recognises not only that we need to lift each other in practical ways but also in prayer. Nasa’ is a battle-related word but we’re not meant to go into single combat.

There are also some one-day mentorships available. These short courses can save you incalculable time and effort by putting you on the right track, especially when it comes to modern fiction. Of Omega Writers’ first three mentorships (in our now discontinued mentorship programme), every aspiring author who has continued on with their mentor has subsequently been published. 

If you’d love to join us as we lift up the Name of God and lift up each other, here’s the details for 2013: 

CALEB Conference 11-12 October

 Riverglenn Conference Centre
 70 Kate Street 
Indooroopilly QLD

 Earlybird deadline is August 1

Details, prices, electives can be found at 

ANNE HAMILTON is the current president of Omega Writers Inc. She is also the Australian editor of the devotional The Word for Today by Bob and Debby Gass. A former mathematics teacher, she is also the author of 11 books ranging from children’s fantasy to meditative theology. 

Her latest book, God’s Panoply – The Armour of God and the Kiss of Heaven, is due for release on August 1. It’s all about nasa’: which is also a word for ‘submission’. When this particular word for ‘submission’ in Hebrew primarily means to uplift another person so they can in turn lift you up, it could just change the sense of certain notorious verses in the New Testament. Check out more at www.fire-of-roses.com/wp

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The benefits of bookstore appearances

When my first novel was published in 2007, author appearances at our nearest Christian bookstore here in Sydney were not overly encouraged, so I gave up the whole idea. In recent years, however, the situation has changed and the store manager now warmly welcomes author visits. I have made several and enjoy them immensely.

For starters, it feels special when I arrive to find a table strategically placed near the main entrance ready for me, along with whatever stocks of my books are available, promotional posters, pens, notepads and even a bottle of water! I am always provided with a comfortable chair as well and asked if I need anything else. Then at intervals during the day, a staff member makes an announcement over the PA system, encouraging customers to come and chat with me. At first, I wondered if I enjoyed all this simply because it was feeding my ego! Yet now I believe it’s more about feeling acknowledged and respected in a healthy way and allowing that to encourage me in my writing journey. For me, it’s about sensing God’s grace in the way these staff members look after me and allowing myself to be blessed in the process. And I hope and pray I bless them in return.
This whole experience also makes me realise God’s faithfulness and grace in my life in an even deeper way and to be so thankful. I often almost pinch myself in amazement as I see all six of my books published so far on display on that book table. Back in 2004, when I began writing in earnest, I could never have envisaged the day when I would be standing in a bookstore, talking about my writing and offering to sign my books for customers. That was the stuff dreams were made of! But God brought it about, enabling me to fulfil those dreams—and I am so grateful.

But there are also other benefits that flow from these author appearances. I do think they are a valuable way of promoting my books and obtaining higher sales than would otherwise be the case. It’s about making my books more visible among the thousands and thousands of others in that bookstore and enabling potential readers to put a face to that author’s name on the cover and to glimpse my heart in writing my books. Then hopefully, as more customers buy them, the store will order more from my publisher, which will eventually result in more royalties for me.
As well, I always give many of my business cards out to customers, whether they come up to my book table or not. It can be done in a polite, non-intrusive way and often leads to interesting conversations and connections. At my last book signing event, I approached a young woman, who, on taking my card, immediately looked up with a delighted smile and exclaimed, ‘Jo-Anne Berthelsen!’ I had known her years ago in a mentoring group and her excitement at hearing about my writing journey since then was so heart-warming for me. Giving customers my card also provides them with a way of connecting with me, should they ever be looking for a speaker.

How have you found your own author visits to bookstores? Do you feel they are worthwhile? Does the way they are conducted perhaps vary from country to country?
Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne is passionate about touching hearts and lives through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of five published novels and one non-fiction work, Soul Friend: the story of a shared spiritual journey. Her sixth novel, The Inheritance, will be released in September. Jo-Anne is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. For more information, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com or www.soulfriend.com.au.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hummingbird: an image of giving and receiving grace

Forced to commit a crime, Lexa flees south of the Border—and a vindictive bounty hunter follows her. Will she escape? Find redemption? David Stearman’s novel Hummingbird is a page-turner set in a Mexican paradise where wandering hummingbirds rest their wings and where Lexa just might discover her true identity.

The multiple viewpoints in the first couple chapters made it hard for me to settle in, but once Lexa got to Mexico I was hooked by the beautiful setting and endearing people. These are characters the author clearly knows and loves. Lexa’s nightmare of the monster called Chupacabra by the locals brought home the reality of Satan’s evil intent.

“... you’re mine, all mine,” [he says.]

Lexa forced herself to stand taller. “I’ll never belong to anyone.”

[The monster] cackled louder. “You’ve been my slave all your life. That’s why you do the dark things you do.”

It made me think of Romans 6. To whom am I a slave? The Chupacabra is an image of evil crouching at the door throughout the book while the hummingbirds who pause in their migration through the area are a beautiful image of giving and receiving grace.

I'd like to welcome author David Stearman to ICFW today. David, you currently live in Kentucky in the southern part of the US. Has that always been home? If not, where else have you lived?

DS: I was brought up in Kentucky, but have also lived in Southern California, Florida, and Oklahoma. But the story’s not finished. I’m beginning to miss the ocean again…

LH: Hmm. That shows in your book! Tell us about the first time you traveled overseas. What were your impressions?

DS: My first overseas trip was to the Philippines, and it’s still one of my favorite places. What amazed me most about it was the sweet-spirited, open-hearted people. And of course the ocean. But I’ve already mentioned that.

LH: :-) Yes, you have! Did anything funny or exciting happen on that trip?

DS: I was young and inexperienced then, and went there with a lot of enthusiasm, but not quite enough funds to cover my expenses. I was the singer for a huge crusade being held by an evangelist, so every evening after the service I’d rush back to the book table to see if I’d sold enough music albums to pay for my meals the next day. And I always did!

LH: God is good. Your new novel, Hummingbird,is about an illegal immigrant to the US—a young woman who arrived as a child, has grown up in the US, and knows no other life. How did you get interested in the problems of illegal immigrants?

DS: I learned a lot about illegal immigration from living in Southern California, but I learned a lot more about the situation from interviewing friends down in Mexico, where I currently do a lot of missions work. And I can certainly tell you this: the situation is much more complex than it appears to be on the surface.

LH: I'm sure it is! Your topic shows compassion for the plight of economic refugees. What motivates that compassion? Do you ever get flack for it?

DS: Seeing lots of people in desperate need gives me compassion for them. But I don’t talk much about immigration issues in public, since I usually get flack from people on both sides of the political aisle when I do. But the bottom line in all this is that people--especially those in financial ruin--need the Lord’s help. That’s something upon which all believers can agree.

LH: Amen. Did you have this story in mind when you last went to Mexico? What did you do to research the setting?

DS: Most of my “research” consisted of working with real people in a real missionary environment. But I did have to study about growing marijuana (for a chapter in the book), since I’ve definitely never done that myself.

LH: Good to know. We don't usually promote marijuana growers on this blog! Do you surf? Your descriptions of the sport are very convincing.

DS: I used to surf when I was a teenager, but I wasn’t very good at it. Still, I’ve always loved the sea and have spent lots of time in and around it. I feel as if I were born with an interest in sea creatures, wave-lore, and a love of water sports. There’s salt water in my veins.

LS: (I'm detecting a love of the sea here ...) It's obvious that the people and places in Mexico are dear to your heart. Tell us about your experience there.

DS: Mexico is my favorite place on earth. Repeated trips there over the years have blessed me with many friends and co-laborers in places like Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. And the food there is the best food in the world. Mix seafood with salsa, tortillas, and frijoles and you’re set to go.

LH: Sounds delicious. The story has a theme of reaping what you sow, but with the twist that salvation gives you a fresh start. Tell us more about the spiritual truths you wanted to communicate in Hummingbird DS: Lexa starts out as a “taker” butlearns to be a “giver,” and her fortunes change as she makes these changes in her life. But this story is primarily about grace. As the Apostle Paul once said, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of which I am the chief.” Paul accepted Christ and turned out pretty well in the end. That’s Lexa’s story too ;-) I want readers to know that God is merciful, forgiving, and generous. That he’ll do anything to help anyone who trusts in Jesus’ name.

LH: You are a musician, songwriter and a missionary. How do you fit in writing?

DS: By doing less of the other things I need to do, lol!

LH: How do you see writing fitting into God's call on your life?

DS: I believe we go from phase to phase (glory to glory) as we grow in the Lord in ministry. My ministry call has evolved over time. As a teenager, I wanted to share Jesus with others. Period. I was a singer/songwriter, so I decided to do it that way. But as I began to travel and hold concerts, the desire to preach grew inside me. After I'd done that for a time, I began to realize that preaching and singing in other countries was the same as doing those things in my home country, the US, so I began to travel overseas, which technically makes me a missionary. Only recently have I felt the urge to write novels and other books, and now it's my primary passion to share God's love via the written word. But I really consider all of these things to be expressions of my same original calling, which is to share Jesus by any and all means possible. BTW--we hear a lot about "callings" and "being called" these days, but when you think about it, we've all been "called" to share Christ with the world. That's what the Great Commission is all about, right? And when you think about it, that's kind of liberating. Folks can feel free to share Jesus with anyone, in any way, they like.

LH: Have any other places you have ministered inspired novels? What do we have to look forward to?

DS: I’ve done missions work in Amazonian,Peru, and am working on a story called “Deep Selva” that’s set in that location. I’ve also, as mentioned earlier, been to the Philippines a couple times, and have a seriously-needs-editing manuscript called “Moth Orchid” about that. But what I’m most excited about right now is a new novel coming out soon which is set in, of all places, the music business. Fame is a strange country, and that’s what that story’s all about. Oh, and I’ve also written several 30-day devotionals: “Encouraging Word” “More encouraging Words,” and “Faith Pumper.”

LH: Thank you for being with us today, David. I think many readers will be caught up in the personal change Lexa experiences as God turns evil to her good in this exciting thriller.


LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. She is now looking for an excuse to visit Western coastal Mexico and see these hummingbirds David describes so beautifully.  LeAnne's new historical novel Honddu Vale set in sixteenth century England, will be released July 29. Learn more on her website.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Coming Up This Week


 LeAnne Hardy: Hummingbird - An image of giving and grace


Jo-Anne Berthelsen: The benefits of book store appearances


Guest Blogger Anne Hamilton


Lisa Harris: Interview with Harry Kraus

Friday Devotion

Ray Hawkins: Why Did I Procrastinate?


Contest News

Lucy Morgan-Jones placed second in the historical category of the Faith, Hope and Love Inspirational Chapter of Romance Writers of America Touched by Love Award - congratulations Lucy! 


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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

DEVOTION: Searching for the Son-light ~ Shirley Corder

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5

The salt spray whipped my face as I grappled with the harsh criticism I had just received. I felt as battered as the rocks piled haphazardly in the path of the thundering waves. The roaring, turbulent, grey water thrashed onto the desolate beach.

From the horizon a streak of emerald green advanced rapidly towards the land. The dark shadows fled in fear from the encroaching band of sunlight. Blue sky dashed after the threatening clouds, chasing them towards the distant mountain peaks. The scene changed in an instant to one of beauty and hope.

Out to sea another streak of colour, dark grey, moved in fast. Within a matter of minutes the shadows returned. The beach was again dismal and overcast. But there was a difference. I knew that the sun was there. It would shine again.

My life is like that. Deep in the shadows of despair, overcast by clouds of suspicion and distrust, everything looks dismal. But when I allow the Son to shine through, His light chases the shadows. I still face the same storms, the fierce winds of criticism. But I take heart – for I know that the Son is still there.

Over to you: No shadow can remain when the Son is allowed to shine. Where do you need Him to shine today?

SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer contains 90 meditations based on some of the ways God's Son-light shone through and chased away the shadows in the cancer valley. It is available globally in print or online in e-versions. 

Please visit Shirley through ShirleyCorder.com, where she encourages writers, or at RiseAndSoar.com, where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or FaceBook. Sign up for her newsletter.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A guided tour through amazing technology changes

I was born on Christmas Eve, 1969, right on the turn of a new decade. It was an interesting time to enter the world. When I think of all the changes I've seen in a reasonably short life, I feel I have something in common with those who were born around the end of 19th and beginning of the 20th century. They experienced plenty of change within a short period, including motor cars, telephone, electricity and flush toilets. I feel as if I've been in a similar whirl, although I'll just focus on what it means for us as writers.

1975 - 1980
When I visit my Dad's work while they clean, I sometimes get to try typing my stories out on his typewriter. The keys often get jumbled up and stuck together. They tell me my little fingers probably aren't strong enough to give each key the good, firm, separate jab it needs. It's very frustrating. I only get about one paragraph done in an hour.

I'm in Year 10 at High School and we begin a cutting-edge new subject called Computer Awareness. Our school owns about a dozen huge computers which we have to share in pairs to do assignments. It's all over my head and I decide to stick to typing.

I get through Year 12, which is the final year of High School, or matriculation, with hand-written essays and assignments. For research, I still have only the World Book Encyclopaedias in our library, just like every other student. If somebody has the volume with the letter I want, it sets me back for who knows how long. I'm not a very outspoken person so often have to wait until close to the deadlines for the work.

1998 - 1991
I buy myself a treat to help myself through University. It's an electric typewriter. My fingers glide across the keys and I can even buy little rolls of correction tape, so I can back-space and white-out mistakes. A typewriter with its own liquid paper! The assignments I submit look far more professional than my hand-written ones ever used to.

Just before I get married, I'm able to borrow my future brother-in-law's computer to type out wedding invitations. They look flasher than anything I could ever do on my typewriter. Not only can you use italics but you can change the whole font. I'm beginning to think I'd like one of my own, but I'm not as clued-up as my brother-in-law, who even 'surfs the net' when he's at Uni. I wouldn't know where to start.

We get a computer about the same time we have our first baby. My Dad lends us the money, although he believes they are a luxury which people don't really need in their homes. He knows I like to write though. Now I can save things on floppy discs and return to them whenever the baby is sleeping. And instead of throwing out whole pages of work, I can 'copy and paste' and shuffle things around in my manuscripts.
 Some encyclopaedia salesmen still knock on our door and worm their way in to spread their wares across our loungeroom floor, trying to convince us that one day, our son will thank us when he has to face school assignments. My husband decides no, with the way the internet is heading, encyclopaedias will one day be old memories, hard as that may be to believe.

1997 or 1998
Around about now, we have internet. I never thought this would happen to me. The world is at my fingertips from my kitchen table. I wish I'd had this at Uni, because I wouldn't have needed to make so many trips down to the city to research. It's dial-up Broadband, so we can't talk on the phone while someone's using internet. If people say, "I've been trying to get through for hours," we say, "Sorry, I was on the internet."

It's the turn of the century and the Y2K bug didn't get our technology. We have our email address now. My in-laws ask me if I can send an email to friends of theirs, who are travelling. They are amazed next day, when I tell them, "They've sent a reply."
"But they're miles away. How did it get there so quickly?"

I start my first blog. When I find out what the word actually means, it sounds like fun. Its first comment is from a lady in America and I'm dancing around the room, delighted. "Hey, people in America are talking to me! They've read my blog. Can you believe that? They've read what I have to say and they're in America!"

Some of my blog friends are talking about Face Book. I have a look, but it seems a bit silly. Who'd want to bother knowing all my little details? I'll probably just stick to my blog. I join a writers' chat group and one lady tells us that she's published an eBook, because it seems to her that is where the future is heading. Privately, I don't think anyone will latch onto those. Naw, it's too way-off. Who'd stop reading proper books?

I read through to prepare my 2000 title, "Picking up the Pieces" for a new edition, and find I have to change the technology all the time. I had characters looking for public phone booths and listening to tapes in tape recorders. Wow, who would've thought we were so behind the times such a short time ago?

I'm working on a collaborated novel with three friends. Two of us live in South Australia, one in Victoria and one way up in Queensland. We manage to plan the whole plot on Skype, and even look at each others' faces while we're talking. Then emails fly back and forth all the time, as each of us finish different parts of the story. How could we have done this, so far apart, without modern technology?

I own a kindle and an Ipad, which is an excellent partnership. With one, I'm able to browse Amazon and buy books, which I can begin to read immediately with the other. All this is before I even need to get out of bed. Many of my books are available from Amazon and other on-line book stores in e-format, so we can advertise them internationally without having to worry about postage. For the first time, our Great South Land is feeling less isolated

Many of my friends are from overseas, and if we want to, we can talk to each other live.

A few weeks ago, I was watching my publisher's two-year-old boy use his Ipad like a pro, which I'm sure he's probably been adept with since he could walk.

My own children laugh when I reminisce about the old manual typewriter, the old electric typewriter, the old encyclopaedias and the old floppies. They say, "You were around with the dinosaurs, Mum," yet I know I wasn't. It's simply that progress has happened so quickly, we've hardly had time to catch our breath. I believe we're living in exciting times for authors and readers. Things I couldn't have imagined in the 1970s and 1980s are now normal parts of our lifestyles and I'm looking forward to finding out what will come next.

As writers, we are enjoying far more luxuries than our illustrious forebears. When I imagine how people like George Eliot or Charles Dickens would have loved our modern computers, internet and communication devices to help them write their enormous novels, I feel very grateful. No matter what the pitfalls of modern communications are, and there are quite a few, it is easy to focus on the good, when we consider how they have helped to revolutionise our lives.

I can't help agreeing with my 18-year-old son. He says he hopes the end of the world won't happen for a long, long time, because it would be such a shame, in his opinion, to have a "Left Behind" scenario just when technology is getting really good.

Paula Vince is an award-winning author of contemporary Christian novels. She lives with her husband, three children and one nephew in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia, which she uses as the setting of many of her books.