Aussie Authors in America – Narelle Atkins.

The_Nurses_Perfect_Match_coverTwo books in my ‘Resolution’ series have American main characters. I have been asked – Why American? There are a few reasons. One is that I enjoy creating American characters that fall in love with my country the way I fell in love with theirs.

But I am not the only Aussie having an American love affair. My friend, Narelle Atkins has just released her second novel, ‘The Nurse’s Perfect Match’ (Mills and Boon, Heartsong Presents). This novel follows her first release, ‘Falling for the Farmer’. Like my novels, Narelle’s books are also set in Australia, and are written with both Australian and American audiences in mind.

I asked Narelle a few questions about writing for a global audience. Here is what she said:

  1. What made you want to write for both the Australian and Overseas market?

I write category romance in the contemporary inspirational romance genre. There aren’t any publishers in Australia who sell category romance books in my specific genre. Writing for an international audience, and targeting the Harlequin Love Inspired lines based in the USA, was a logical decision.

The Australian Christian romance market is small when compared to the overseas market based in North America. From a business perspective, it makes sense for Australian Christian authors to have a vision for selling their books to overseas readers, irrespective of the location of their home market. My home market is North America, and my sales in  Australia are considered foreign sales. The rising popularity of ebooks will help Australian authors reach international readers.  

  1. What will an International reader learn about our country from your novels?

Australian books have a unique cultural flavour. My books are edited in the USA, with a North American audience in mind. As a result, there are more American expressions and less Australian expressions than you’ll probably find in the typical Christian fiction book published in Australia. It’s important that your international readers are not thrown out of the story by foreign expressions, or word usage that doesn’t translate or make sense to overseas readers.

The foreign setting is a selling point for Australian books. Readers have the opportunity to travel to Australia through our books, and explore our wonderful country with our characters in the story. My first three books are set in the gorgeous Snowy Mountains region of Australia. Readers will see native animals, and experience country life in a small town setting.

  1. The Heartsong Presents division of Mills and Boon presents great inspirational stories. What would you say to a Christian Fiction Reader who hasn’t explored this brand before?

Heartsong Presents is part of the Harlequin’s Love Inspired brand. The ebooks are sold under the Mills and Boon brand in Australia and New Zealand.

Love Inspired books are category romances. The focus of the story is on the developing romance between the hero and heroine. The faith element is woven into the story, and may be more subtle than the longer books, or books in other Christian fiction genres. Love Inspired books are clean romances, and suitable for younger readers. The stories explore the hero and heroine’s spiritual journey as part of the developing romance plot. They are written from a Christian worldview, and the stories provide role models for Christian romantic relationships.

Thank you, Narelle for visiting me on my blog and telling us a bit about your work. You can find out more about Narelle by visiting her website: 

 http://www.narelleatkins.com/

Narelle has also very generously offered one person a copy of her new release, ‘The Nurse’s Perfect Match’. Just leave a comment here, or on my Facebook Link to this blog post to be in the running. 

 

NarelleA fun loving Aussie girl at heart, Narelle Atkins was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle’s contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to write for Heartsong Presents.

 

NURSE AMY WILKINS HAS COME HOME  After her marriage ends in tragedy, Amy returns to Snowgum Creek to rebuild her life. There she meets widower Ben Morton, who's not looking for romance, though his young children are eager for Amy's attention. She's given up on her dream of being a mother, but can't ignore how she's drawn to Ben's little ones, and to their handsome farmer dad.  As love kindles between Ben and Amy, she worries how she'll ever measure up to the wife he lost. And Ben is concerned about how Amy will ever truly fit into life on the farm. They could be the answer to each other's prayers—if the secret Amy is keeping doesn't tear them apart.

NURSE AMY WILKINS HAS COME HOME
After her marriage ends in tragedy, Amy returns to Snowgum Creek to rebuild her life. There she meets widower Ben Morton, who’s not looking for romance, though his young children are eager for Amy’s attention. She’s given up on her dream of being a mother, but can’t ignore how she’s drawn to Ben’s little ones, and to their handsome farmer dad.
As love kindles between Ben and Amy, she worries how she’ll ever measure up to the wife he lost. And Ben is concerned about how Amy will ever truly fit into life on the farm. They could be the answer to each other’s prayers—if the secret Amy is keeping doesn’t tear them apart.

More Stories – More Snakes.

A friend emailed this to us in 2011.Gives me the horrors. :-(

A friend emailed this to us in 2011.Gives me the horrors. :-(

My Book Fun article has inspired more sharing of stories in my family. My mother had me in fits of giggles this week over the antics of my father. She reminded me of the time my Dad expertly fixed her broken windscreen wiper with a ball of Hubba Bubba chewing gum. It stuck fast, fooling the Queensland Transport inspector who had come to town to issue fines for all non-compliant vehicles. The wiper stayed happily in place until the next downpour of rain, when (forgetting it was held on by chewing gum), my mother turned on the wipers sending the broken arm flying off the glass and in the direction of the main street footpath. It narrowly missed an unsuspecting pedestrian. My mother, and sister, (who was in the car at the time too), didn’t realize what had happened until further down the road when they put the events together. It was fits of laughter all around for that tale, and for every retelling of it since. :-)

Another amazing family event was the story of my cousin. In his youth he and his mates were on their way back from a night out. He leaned out the window of the car to give a spontaneous ‘Ya Hoo’, and the car hit a bump forcing his hat from his head. Now, an Acubra hat is a vital piece of clothing for a country man. In country Australia hats are used for far more than keeping the elements off one’s head. They are also used to fight fires, direct livestock, swipe at something attacking you, and to hold a drink of water from a creek if needs be – so a hat was something to retrieve. The problem with retrieving this hat was that, when they reversed the car they found the bump in the road had been a massive carpet snake. The snake spanned the road with the hat resting next to the snake’s head. My cousin thought the best idea was to pull the snake off the road by the tail, thus gaining enough space between head and hat for the retrieval.

He started pulling the tail when suddenly the snake whipped around and latched onto his hand. If this wasn’t a dire enough situation, seconds later the local drunk screamed around the corner, collecting both my cousin and the snake. The force of the blow from the vehicle dislodged the biting reptile and sent both snake and man flying into the air. The good news was that the hat was retrieved. The bad news was that my cousin suffered a broken leg, (thankfully that was the only injury). To our knowledge the snake went on his way, but he left his mark – the really bad news was that for years to come my cousin’s hand would swell up with little sores. From these little sores a carpet snake’s tooth would emerge.

This story was so amazing that it made the national news. It was certainly a series of unfortunate events, with really quite a fortunate outcome.

If you would like to hear some more of my family stories please have a look at my article in this month’s Book Fun Magazine. Scroll down the index until you find ‘”Yabberin’” – Page 159.

http://www.bookfunmagazine.com/i/304623

I must also say that it is due to the great protection of the Lord that our family are able to tell these stories. I do not advise anyone to pull a snake (even a carpet snake) by the tail.

 

 

 

 

 

You are Invited to Visit My Country – Australia (Inspy Romance).

I really enjoyed guest blogging on Inspy Romance this week. It was a piece very close to my heart.

Please click on the link below and read why I love writing about my country – Australia. :-)

http://www.inspyromance.com/you-are-invited-to-visit-my-country-australia/

Falling for the Farmer by Narelle Atkins.

Falling for the Farmer.KATE LAWSON IS A RUNAWAY BRIDE

And she’s incredibly grateful when Jack Bradley offers her a job on his apple farm. Working side by side in the orchards with her best friend’s brother seems like the perfect way to get over her disastrous engagement. Until Kate finds herself falling hard for the handsome farmer.

Jack Bradley knows city-girl Kate isn’t here to stay. Yet suddenly he’s imagining a life with her in the country. When Kate considers going back to the city, can Jack find a way to show her that her real home is here on the farm, by his side?

I sat down to read this book after a busy and stressful week. It was the perfect story to lift my spirits. This is a well written, easy read, with characters you can easily relate to, and a story-line to suit most contemporary fiction readers. The romance elements develop nicely over the course of the novel, and the story had just enough drama to keep me turning the pages. I haven’t read a Harlequin novel in a very long time, and I was so taken by the standard of this one, that I can’t wait for Narelle’s next release.

NarelleAbout the Author
 
NARELLE ATKINS writes contemporary inspirational romance and lives in Canberra, Australia. She sold her debut novel, set in Australia, to Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line in a six-book contract. She is also a member of International Christian Fiction Writers group blog.http://internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com
Narelle is a co-founder with Jenny Blake of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA). http://acrba.blogspot.com
Her debut book, Falling for the Farmer, will be a February 2014 release, followed by The Nurse’s Perfect Match in May 2014 andThe Doctor’s Return in August 2014.
Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins
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G’Day. This is ME!

Foot ProofI don’t know about other fiction writers, but I have a challenging time writing about myself. I think this is because I never seem very interesting compared with any of my characters. Maybe that is why I write about imaginary people and not myself! So as I proofed my debut column for this month’s Book Fun Magazine I wondered if the, primarily American audience, wouldn’t be a little bored with the fact that I didn’t like wearing shoes, or that I loved being Australian. Then, after attempting a mental reworking of the piece, I realized one important fact – It is supposed to be about me – and I DON’T particularly like wearing shoes, and I DO love being a North Queenslander (different though we are). I had to write about myself, and that is what I had done.

SO,

Here it is – Me being Me. I hope you like it. :-) (with a smiley face inclusion – because that is Me too.)

http://www.bookfunmagazine.com/i/267925

PS – I couldn’t believe that a week after writing the first draft of this piece an old re-run of Crocodile Dundee came on the telly (television). Still get a kick out of that characterization – there really used to be people like Mick Dundee in Queensland.

Then: two days before this magazine went live I had an after school argument with my son about him not wanting to wear his shoes. He wanted to take them off to play. Looks like a case of ‘like mother, like son’!

Thank you to Deeper Shopping – U.S.A

Back to Resolution on Deeper Shopping.This week my first novel, Back to Resolution (E-book) was featured on a e-mail out by U.S bookstore, Deeper Shopping.

I was so excited and grateful. :-)

Deeper Shopping is the primary stockist of my work in the U.S.A. It’s a great breakthrough to now offer American readers access to our Aussie Fiction.

Thank you, Deeper Shopping.

http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=Rose+Dee&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

Please also follow me in America at:

The Book Club Network:

http://www.bookfun.org/

And

Book Fun Magazine

http://www.bookfunmagazine.com/read/account_titles/169656

Have a Chat.

Prize 1. First Chat. BCNI have often been referred to as ‘old Rose have a chat’. Probably because I talk way too much. But this week I must let my fingers do the talking – literally.

My first online chat is scheduled for tomorrow at 11am, Brisbane time. It’s being conducted by the Book Club Network in the USA, and I am very excited. I am also excited to be giving one lucky person a very special Aussie prize – or as I like to call it – an Aussie Care Package.

It was browsing though the specialty shops on my recent visit to Tasmania that I had the idea to put together something special for our friends across the water. Being a tropical climate girl, I never get to see the unique winter wear our country produces. Pure wool scarfs, soft and warm wraps, and ugg boots for all occasions. I was astounded by the quality and variety of our winter homegrown products. Having seen the wild winter onslaught America was facing, I knew something had to be done to show we were thinking of them.

Please check out the prize I have put together, and also please help support me by letting all your American friends know this is on. Who knows, it might be one of them who will win.

Book Club Network Chat is on

US Time – Monday 10th 8pm Eastern Time.

In Australia – that is Tuesday 11th at 11am (Brisbane time).

http://www.bookfun.org/chat

‘A New Resolution’ Wins Fiction Prize – CALEB Awards 2013

ANR with CALEB Sticker23102013_0000Life is full of surprises. This statement came true for me a few weeks ago when my third novel, ‘A New Resolution’ won the Fiction Prize in this year’s Caleb Awards.

I was surprised and delighted in equal measure. With competition being primarily from my co-authors, I considered the verdict to be something I would rejoice in whether I was a part of the win or not, but it is a wonderful encouragement to have your work recognized. I am grateful.

The story in ‘A New Resolution’ came so easily to me. It was conceived in my mind long before I finished my second novel, ‘Beyond Resolution’. This is the tale of a young woman struggling to overcome childhood abuse, making a choice that leads to teenage pregnancy, and struggling against the odds of family heritage to find peace, love and worthiness. Anika is the face of a lot of young women who unconsciously follow a pattern of abuse. The difference is, Anika chooses to believe in the love of her foster family, and embraces the unconditional love of faith in the Lord. It changes her life. Not to say her life is void of challenge, but in her journey she realises there is no challenge she ever has to face alone.

Here is an excerpt from the novel:

*****

‘Kiki.’ Kye’s high-pitched voice made her look up. ‘She’s here. She’s walking up the stairs. I told you she was coming.’

A soft knock sounded. Ani looked toward the door as Caroline peered through the reflective glass.

‘Don’t let her in, Kiki. She’s worse than a wicked witch.’

Anika turned back to him. ‘That’s enough, Kye. I do not want to hear you insult her again. Do you hear me?’

Her son pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes in a display of defiance.

Anika walked to the door and slid it open.

‘Afternoon.’ Caroline’s greeting was dismissive. she was wearing skin tight shorts that made her lily-white legs look like twigs, and a peasant top that would have been beautiful had her shoulders not resembled a coat hanger. High-heeled wedges completed the outfit, and provided her with inches of unnecessary height. ‘Mind if I come in?’

Anika looked back at her son. He shook his head violently.

‘Now is a bad time. I’m in the middle of preparing lunch.’ She offered the woman an insincere smile.

‘Well this won’t take long.’ Caroline pushed past and entered the room.

Anika had little choice other than to follow her.

Kye was mirroring her mood, except he lacked the ability to disguise his feelings. His eyes squinted and his jaw gutted out at the intruder.

‘Kye, you can go and watch a movie in your room until I call you. Put on your earphones.’ She had to get him out of the lounge. The best way to shelter Kye from anything this woman had to say was to run interference. The noise of the DVD player should muffle the adult conversation.

He turned and stomped into his room.

Ani looked back at Caroline. ‘Can you make it quick?’ As far as she was concerned, this woman forfeited any requirement for manners when she barged uninvited into her cabin. ‘We’re about to eat.’ As if to further her point she left Caroline standing in the lounge while she moved back to her task of making sandwiches in the kitchen.

Caroline stood her ground, placing her hands in the pockets of her shorts and scanning the room.

‘This is real cosy. Incredibly insignificant, but then I guess it’s to be expected in Hicksville.’

Ani looked up from the activity to stare at her. ‘ If you’ve come to insult me, or my living conditions, you’re wasting your time. I’m not interested in your assessment of either.’

A rapid snort sounded in response. ‘You should be thanking me. I came halfway around the world to warn you. Nate isn’t who you think he is.’

Ani paused her ferocious buttering of bread. ‘You have no idea who Nate is. You haven’t had anything to do with him for over a year. You have no right to come here and make trouble for him.’

Caroline extracted one hand from her pocket to run though the length of her hair.

‘I may not have seen him for a while but I knew him intimately, for over two years. And I can certainly tell you who he’s not.’ The other hand flew from her pocket to rest upon her hip. ‘He’s not a man to fall for a small town nobody with no class and no breeding. Have a look at yourself. Don’t you own a hair brush?’

Anika couldn’t believe the audacity of the woman. Shock stopped her from responding. Caroline took advantage of Ani’s numbed state. ‘You don’t have one iota of class. Nate is a pedigree Texan, with a reputation to uphold. Can’t you see that he’s playing with you? Trust me. I’m doing you a favour by filling you in. He’s only interested in the chase, nothing more. When he tires of you he’ll take off, just like he did to me.’ She took a few slow paces forward.

‘Besides, I’ve also been told that you have black blood. Getting serious with a black is virtually sacrilege in my opinion. Besides, do you seriously think his family is going to allow him to marry someone with that kind of tarnished heritage?’

Anika felt a new flood of emotions hit her. Caroline’s words were like weapons piercing her soul. It hurt. A lot. Dry heat coursed through her body and a sinking feeling sent her stomach plummeting to the floor.

She closed her eyes tight. …….

The old feelings of insecurity and worthlessness surfaced. Throughout her childhood she had been told she wasn’t good enough. All her life she had told herself the same thing. Perhaps Caroline was right…….She didn’t even know who her father was. Classless and fatherless.

In the past the thoughts would have prompted a surge of self-preservation. She would have reared up and responded in kind to Caroline. But the familiar destructive words that bounced around her mind rang out as a mass of lies. There was an overwhelming sense of untruth, not only to the words in her head, but to Caroline’s attack.

A new voice overcame the old. You are not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. I knew you before you were conceived, My thoughts towards you are as countless as the sand on the seashore. For I am your Father and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus.

*****

To find out how Anika responds to Caroline’s attack, you’ll just have to read the book! This character certainly has a long and bumpy journey to share with you.

I want to say thank you to the many people who contributed to producing ‘A New Resolution’. They are all mentioned in the Acknowledgements page in the front of the novel, but in summary I want to say a special thanks  to my main readers – my sister Leonie, and neighbor Mary; to my editors – Iola and Wendy; and to my publisher – Rochelle. I know that they all share in the encouragement of this win, because they committed their own time and expertise into making this story the best that it could be.

Thank you also Omega writers for the chance you give us Aussie Authors a nod.

Interested in getting a copy of ‘A New Resolution’? Here are some stockist links. Also available on ebook and kindle.

http://www.lightthedark.com.au/dev/index.php/a-new-resolution.html

http://www.ucbdirect.com.au/items/mother-s-day/books/11688BKP-detail.htm

http://www.word.com.au/A-New-Resolution/Rose-Dee/9781922074225

http://www.koorong.com/search/product/resolution-3-new-resolution-a-rose-dee/9781922074225.jhtml

http://www.amazon.com/A-New-Resolution-ebook/dp/B0096QYLVS/ref=la_B006VAASZU_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381922158&sr=1-4

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-new-resolution-rose-dee/1112976307?ean=9781922074225

Author Rose Dee. Caleb Awards 2013

I’m not buying anything new until Christmas!

A woman hand carrying a bunch of colorful shopping bagsIt was early June when I made this statement. Having just returned from our third camping trip, it occurred to me that there was a whole lot of ‘stuff’ we had, and a great deal of it was superfluous to our existence. Don’t get me wrong, I love my house and am very grateful for every belonging, but having enjoyed camping so much, and with only the very basics, that I realised that there was nothing more I could possibly need.

The conditions of this grand statement were: no new clothes, shoes, accessories; nothing new for the house; no new toys; not one new anything. Only what was necessary, food and consumables, gifts, and what needed replacing (little boys grow and things break).

You would think this isn’t an overly difficult thing to do, but in week one I found myself having to return a product, purchased without thinking. Two months in, I can honestly say that I still find it difficult. There are new fashions out, and not to mention the sales – oh, the sales!

Here is the amazing upside though – I spend a lot more time at home, because apart from groceries, I don’t need to go to the shops. Tully is working hard for every single thing he wants. We have always required him to do jobs, but I was amazed at how a little thing here and a little thing there added up. Now he really appreciates what he receives because he has worked hard for it.

Lifelong lessons are also being learned. God is teaching me a lot about self control, something that I know for sure I have lacked in my life. He is also feeding the heart I have to give to those in need. I have found it astounding how, when you stop concentrating on your wants, you are more in tune with the needs of others.

I am unsure how I will continue in this endeavor. I live in hope that I get to Christmas without having to take anything else back , (explaining my goal to a shop assistant is a little embarrassing). But then, another great revelation in this experiment is, that a good dose of humility is the starting point of change.

Another Snippet of Wisdom.

Sun shiningHere is the next saying from inside the covers of my Dad’s Bible.

‘Immensely Spiritual; Thoroughly Practical.’ 

So what does this mean? I think it’s about balance. We all know that faith without deeds is useless. But a lack of faith can also be debilitating.

Balance is hard. I know I don’t always get it right. But I do know I am learning every day.

I don’t know who originally said this little snippet of wisdom. If you are aware of the source please let me know.