For you, Mum.

For you, Mum.

Mothers are special. They comfort us from the moment we're born until they are no longer with us. How often do we take them for granted? Many of us do, so I'm glad we have Mother's Day to remember all the sacrifices they make for us.

My mother died when I was young, and after having twelve children, she certainly understood what sacrifice meant. Even my older sister who raised me sacrificed much by including me in her family. I am eternally grateful for her love, comfort and support. If it wasn't for her kind heart and generosity, who knows where I might be today.

Many women have taken on orphans, or children who couldn't be raised by their biological mother. You are special; you have given a child the wonderful gift of love in a real and practical way. I hope this Sunday you will receive a special thank you from those who love you, and you will take all the love that comes your way. You continue to give, give and give some more. There is no end to the love in your heart

Are you at a loss what to get Mum this Sunday? Four shopping days to go to buy books by Australian authors at Koorong. If you don't know Koorong, click on this link to find what they offer: http://koorong.com/ When you buy, your name will go into the draw to win a weekend away at Daydream Island Resort and Spa. Find out more: http://www.daydreamisland.com/ Giving books, what better way to encourage Mum to put her feet up and have some time out.

I wish all Mothers, a very happy and special Mother's Day. Never under-estimate the important contribution you make to our community and to future generations. Thank you all!

Daydreaming at Daydream Island Resort and Spa

Do you ever have a day when you feel like you're climbing Mt Everest? When your head feels as though it has a tight band around it crushing your brain? Your insides are so tight they feel like they will implode? You're not alone. These symptoms can mean you're stressed and need time out.

Daydream Island...where dreams begin.

Daydream Island...where dreams begin.

A while ago, I took time out at Daydream Island Resort and Spa, in the Whitsunday Islands and it was the best decision I'd made in a long time. From the moment I spotted the island, pictured here, the stress begain to drain from my shoulders; my insides began to unwind; and I realised I was in for a treat. I spent a week of swimming in the sparkling pool, relaxing at the bar by the pool with a cool drink, walking the island to a lookout where I felt I was the only person in the world; and then I unwound still further at the Rejuvenation Spa. No mobile phone, no computer, no domestic duties. Bliss! As the stress decreased my creative well began to fill. This was the tonic I needed. There was plenty of food, more than I could eat, and each night I fell into a deep slumber like I hadn't experienced in a long time.

Would you like to sample this experience? You could be the lucky Mother's Day winner just for shopping at Koorong bookstore. Australian authors are being featured for the next couple of weeks leading up to Mother's day. If you buy any of the Australian authors's books you can go in the draw to win a weekend for two at Daydream Island Resort and Spa. What a treat! Who wouldn't want to be spoilt at this luxury resort.

To find out more about Daydream Island Resort and Spa click here www.daydreamisland.com

Click on the link to Koorong here: http://www.koorong.com.au/ Scroll to the bottom of the web page and click on the link 'New from Australian Author Rose Dee" on the left hand side. Good luck!


CALEB 2011 Winner ... Paula Vince

Paula Vince

Paula Vince

My last featured author for January is Paula Vince. Paul won the CALEB 2011 Prize with her novel, Best Forgotten.

Welcome, Paula!

Please tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I’m a homeschooling mother of three children aged between seven and seventeen. We live in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia which I’ve found is the perfect place to set novels. It’s beautiful all year round with four very distinctive seasons.

Ever since I was a young schoolgirl, writing fiction is all I ever wanted to do. I believe a story has its own awesome power to touch readers’ hearts in ways other genres don’t. I’ve had faith-inspired novels in the Australian market since 2000.

Your book, Best Forgotten, won the 2011 CALEB Award. Would you tell us about it and what inspired you to write it?

I’d been intrigued by the relationship between our thinking habits and what we make of our lives. Are our personalities a product of random events or the thoughts we choose to think about them? I’d wanted to tackle questions like that for a long time.

In Best Forgotten, I have a bewildered young hero with complete amnesia who develops an aversion to the person he used to be. He can’t understand the way he used to behave or the choices he made. His girlfriend is keeping him at arm’s length and he discovers that his best friend disappeared without a trace on the night of his own accident. The more he investigates, the more likely it appears that he was involved in something really sinister and shady. He is both hero and detective of his story and terrified that he may also turn out to be the villain. It’s a blend of mystery, suspense and romance.

Who is your favourite author and what is it about their work you like?

There are so many excellent fiction authors I admire, I’d honestly find it difficult to choose one or two. I would like to pay tribute to Janette Oke and Francine Rivers, though, because these ladies first made me aware that there is even such a thing as Christian fiction. Way back in the late eighties when I was still a schoolgirl, I sat up late turning the pages of their books, anxious to find out what was going to happen to their characters. These two authors are responsible for making me determined to try my hand at doing for Australia what they were doing for America.

What books did you read growing up?

I read a steady diet of the old classics. As a girl, I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” series and anything ever written by L. M. Montgomery. The formative book during my teens was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I considered that book the prototype of everything a wonderful novel was supposed to include. I used to love studying its elements, pulling it apart and marveling at the perfect blend of characterization and plot, all enhanced by her wonderful descriptions of her local environment, the Yorkshire Moors. It still sits in a position of pride on my shelf.

What does a typical day look like for Paula?

I like to get up before others for some quiet time and a bit of writing. We have a relaxed homeschooling style based on reading books and following wherever the kids’ interests lead them. This results in a really interesting blend of studies and excursions, especially as their ages are so diverse. Fitting in a walk and a bit of reading is ideal, too, and there’s always housework. I’m definitely the stay-at-home type.

What advice would you give an aspiring Christian romance author?

If your personal daydreams about your characters and their potential storylines intrigue you, there is an excellent chance that they’ll capture other people’s imaginations too. Whenever the writing becomes more of a chore than a labour of love, perhaps you need to sit back and ponder how to re-ignite that spark.

Also, be prepared to revise and re-write a lot. Getting to enjoy the editing stage as much as the writing is an important part of the lifestyle.

What can readers expect in your next book?

Its working title is Along for the Ride. The heroine is a young woman who feels compelled to travel to the other side of the world to right a wrong she committed in her childhood that has never stopped eating her peace. The hero is a brilliant young man who faces the challenge of changing everything he ever believed was true. It also tackles the question of divine healing and whether God chooses to work independently of or in response to our faith. I always aim to draw tears and laughter from my readers. I hope this will be no exception.

Best Forgotten by Paula Vince

Best Forgotten by Paula Vince

Thanks for being part of my blog today, Paula.

To learn more about Paula and other books she has written, you can read her blog www.justoccurred.blogspot.com

Paula's books are available at Koorong, Christian Bookworld and independent bookstores.

Rose Dee - A Passion for Tropical Islands

Rose Dee

Rose Dee

January is my interviewing Aussie authors month, so keep dropping by to see who I'm interviewing each week.

Today, I'm interviewing Australia's newest author, Rose Dee. Rose's passion is writing about the islands off the coast of Queensland. Welcome, Rose!

Tell us about your debut release, "Back to Resolution" and what inspired you to write this romance novel?

When I decided to ‘have a go’ at writing something I had no idea it would end in a book length manuscript. I didn’t really have a plan or preconceived idea of the end result. I just wanted to see if I could write something. "Back to Resolution" is the culmination of my imagination and my experiences in tropical North Queensland. It has a bit of mystery, drama, and a great portion of romance.

Who is your favourite author and what is it about their work you like?

If I had to narrow it down, I would say Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre is my ultimate favourite), and in a more current sense, Tamara Alexander. I very much enjoyed her Timber Ridge Reflections series. While settings are important, it is the character analysis that draws me to a story. I love the sense of knowing who the characters are at the end of a novel, and not wanting to say goodbye to them.

What books did you read growing up? How have they influenced the person you are and your writing today?

When I was a child I loved books and reading. As I grew into young adulthood I read a variety of teen romances, as well as classics (Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, etc.). I love both contemporary and historic romances. Any story with a romantic theme is acceptable reading material to me, so when I decided to write this was the one criteria – got to have romance.

What does a typical day look like for Rose Dee?

Apart from the household, mother and wife duties, we run our own business so there are always tasks to perform in the office. I endeavour to find time to write, blog, or contribute in some way to my writing. I’m not a planner, so I will write when I have the opportunity, or when inspiration strikes. I never sit down to slog through something if it isn’t working for me. I will often leave my writing for days or weeks, and do something else – like a blog. I would dearly love to have the time to write every day, but the fact is – 24 hours goes by too fast.

"Back to Resolution" is the first book in a series. Why did you write your first book as part of a series rather than a stand alone?

I didn’t plan to do a series. Three quarters of the way through writing "Back to Resolution" I found myself thinking a lot about one of the characters and I knew she had a story of her own. It was a natural progression to tie her in with the first.

Back to Revolution by Rose Dee

Back to Revolution by Rose Dee

Thanks so much for your time today, Rose.

Rose's debut novel, "Back to Resolution" is available at Koorong, Word and Collins bookstores. It's selling quickly, so make sure you secure your copy. Should you want to know more about Rose visit to her website: http://rosedee.com


African Hearts Confirms A Reader's Future

Sydney is a city that goes, goes, goes. It's a place I really enjoy visiting to catch up on family and friends, and find the new and interesting things I hadn't done when we lived there about fifteen years ago. It's a vibrant and exciting city, and full of the unexpected.

We did book signings at West Ryde and met some wonderful people who really wanted to get to know me at a personal level. One of the most surprising moments was when three people approached me with quizzical looks on their faces and asked me if I'd been to Africa to have written African Hearts. I wish! But I was pleasantly surprised when the young lady said seeing my book was a sign that she had asked God for to encourage her to go to Africa and work with the orphans. I became so excited for this young lady and her husband. The looks on their faces was a mixture of pleasure, relief and a little anxiety. They also told me they nearly didn't make it to the signing. They'd arrived half an hour before I was to finish. They saw this as another sign that they were meant to be there to speak with me.

After much excited discussion they left feeling they were to follow their hearts and go to Africa to work with the orphans. This was an extraordinary experience for me that God would use me to encourage young people to understand what God was saying to them. Some authors say book signings are not their favourite thing to do. After this experience, I believe it's a very important part of the marketing process to connect with my readers in so many ways. No matter how tired I might be at the end of the day, I believe the time has been well spent. Encouraging others is what I love to do to see them reach their potential in their chosen field. If part of the process means standing for four hours in a book store I will. Connecting with my readers is what motivates me and helps me get through the days when the writing is not going so well.

Thank you Koorong, West Ryde for your commitment in helping me help others and fulfill God's purpose for my life.