Have you ever heard someone ask; ‘What Would Jesus Do?’
I’ve written about this question in this month’s Book Fun Magazine.
You will find my article on page 18.
Have you ever heard someone ask; ‘What Would Jesus Do?’
I’ve written about this question in this month’s Book Fun Magazine.
You will find my article on page 18.
Here it is:
My new release, Ehvah After is now available on Kindle. Hard copy version currently in formatting.
Ehvah Rowe’s life is in freefall. Her teen queen status is long forgotten, and with a childhood of tragic loss, no family save a diabolical aunt, and no career prospects, her L.A. celebrity world holds no future.
It will take a murder, an escape to the Australian tropics, and the friendship of an Aussie bodyguard, for her to discover healing, faith, and a way forward.
David Blake knows how to be a soldier. His army training equipped him to fight and protect. But when it comes to helping a fear-filled celebrity navigate the same post-traumatic stress symptoms he has suffered, David discovers the challenge in forsaking his own strength for God’s plan.
Rose Dee weaves a story of mystery, drama and romance, in her trademark tropical North Queensland Australian style.
Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter. A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?
What I thought:
From cover to cover this story had me wondering, searching and contemplating it’s many complex issues and characters. There is a twist at the end of this book which blew me away. It was so well done and entertaining. This story has stayed with me.
I asked Paula a few questions about Imogen’s Chance. Please leave a comment to go into the draw for a copy of this great read. (Copy offered worldwide in either paperback or electronic form).
1. Imogen begins her story as a simple girl with a simplistic goal – to help a family she feels she has wronged as a child. It’s only as the story progresses that we start to understand the complexities of this goal as well as her past mistakes. What are the main themes you had in mind when writing this novel? And what do you hope the reader takes away from Imogen’s story?
One of my favourite themes in this story is regret, and whether or not any mistakes are ever left too long to make amends. Imogen has lived for years with the conviction that she might have been able to prevent something bad from happening, not once but twice. She feels challenged to try to make amends, because regret is eating away at her, even though she’s worried that stirring up memories may make things worse.
For Imogen, back-tracking means returning all the way from America to South Australia. She finds that one of her old friends, Asher, has a problem which seems impossible for her to help with. As he’s one of the people she felt most wary about facing again, she’s unsure how she should behave around him.
The other main theme is divine healing, which I’ll discuss in question 2.
I’m hoping that readers will be encouraged to see that nothing need ever be final, in spite of the way it may appear, whether in the area of relationships, health or career.
I have researched this connection for several years before starting to write the novel. Dealing with physical problems was a definite spur. I suffered multiple miscarriages, and later, my eldest son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy when he was small, along with eczema and asthma. These occurrences filled me with intense fear. I hated to think that serious sickness could strike at any time. That’s why I started to study divine healing, and the material I’ve come across has been phenomenal.
Some of the true testimonies of healing I’ve discovered could only have been miracles from God. Reading these has been enough to convince me that simply accepting every bad prognosis, based on limited data gathered by humans, is a shortsighted choice. I’d rather err on the side of optimism than simply give up hope.
Several of the books I’ve read propose reasons for faith in healing such as this. If Jesus died on the cross to cover our sins, then His death must also cover the consequences of our sins, and sickness is a prime example. There was no sickness before sin came into the world, so there should be none for forgiven believers. The physical bodies of true believers, which are temples of the Holy Spirit, should be out of bounds for sickness and disease. No matter how we feel about simple arguments like this, it is interesting to at least be aware of them.
I’ve had healing experiences in my own life that convince me every believer ought to keep their faith boosted. Just last year, I had a sore patch on my face. Two doctors were certain it was a skin cancer, but before the appointment with a plastic surgeon came around, I watched it spontaneously fade and disappear in the week following prayer. Personal experiences like this are enough for us to hold onto, keeping our faith for bigger issues elevated, because God never changes.
Most of my research came from non-fiction texts by healing evangelists. I wanted to add to the encouraging books out there in the form of fiction, one of my favourite ways of communicating truths to readers. As far as I know, there are not many novels which deal with the ins and outs of divine healing. As soon as I had the idea, I was anxious to start one.
Together, my characters Imogen and Asher figure out ways to deal with a serious prognosis he’s given. One of the questions they ask themselves is whether there is actually some action required from patients in their approach to God? What should our attitudes be? They find themselves thinking about things which have never crossed their minds before, as they learn the extent of what is in the grace package God offers us, and how our faith may help to activate it.
This actually worked out really well. I’d automatically intended to make Imogen an Aussie girl, as all my former heroines have been. My publisher and editor both suggested that I make one of the main characters American, thinking that it may appeal to international readers, especially those who are searching for somebody they can more easily relate to.
I’ve never visited America so found that idea fairly daunting. I’m so glad I took their advice, as Imogen being American turned out to be crucial to the plot in several ways. If she’d simply lived in a different Australian state to the Dorazio family, it would have been too close for the plot to work. Some of the characters would have behaved quite differently and the drama would have fallen flat.
My biggest challenge was having nothing but my lifetime with movies, books and the media to base her on, especially since she’s the main character. I referred to charts of American versus Australian words. My biggest fear was that, although I knew several of these words already, I would inadvertently miss a few. That’s why I thought it wise to run the story past a few American friends.
I’m pleased that some international readers have told me that Imogen does come across as American to them. One day I may actually be able to visit, and learn some extra things for myself.
Award-winning author, Paula Vince loves to evoke tears and laughter through her novels. A wife and homeschooling mother of three, she resides in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Her youth was brightened by great fiction and she’s on a mission to pay it forward.
Her novel, Picking up the Pieces, won the religious fiction section of the 2011 International Book Awards.
Her novel, Best Forgotten, was winner of the 2011 CALEB Award in the fiction category and also recognized as the best overall entry for the year, chosen over memoirs, devotionals and general non-fiction.
Paula’s books are a skillful blend of drama and romance tied together with elements of mystery and suspense.
Paula is the author of Picking up the Pieces, The Risky Way Home, A Design of Gold and Best Forgotten. Her new novel, Imogen’s Chance, will be published in April, 2014.
Paula is also one of the four authors of The Greenfield Legacy.
(And a photo of us at Dreamworld. We got wet. lol).
If you would like to hear more interviews from the Morning Cafe click here to listen online:
There is a small give-away – a few Aussie Summer items and a ‘Resolution’ book of the winner’s choice.
Also some extra signed copies of each of the books to give-away too.
I can’t wait to chat with all my new friends across the Pacific again, and I invite all Aussie Authors and Readers to join me.
Find out more here:
In Australia the chat will be on from 10am Tuesday 19th.
Hope to see you there.
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.
Please also follow me in America at:
The Book Club Network:
Book Fun Magazine
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).
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.
I have had a challenging month. In the past weeks I have lashed out in anger after having been hurt; unintentionally said the wrong thing; unintentionally done the wrong thing; and had many instances where I have just felt like a failure to my faith.
Last week I was worried that I didn’t make a very good Christian because, even though I admitted each one of these failings in prayer, and asked for forgiveness, I still kept doing stupid wrong things. This thought made me anxious, depressed, and my hope took a nosedive.
Then something amazing happened – I went to school. Tully’s school to be exact. I was there to head up a reading group, and it was during this group that I made wonderful discovery about my failings, and my faith.
Here is the background story:
One of the children in the group had torn small rips on the side of a page in one of the books. The crime was pointed out to me by a boy who vigorously pointed the finger at another boy as the culprit. I knew that the finger pointing was justified, and despite denying the vandalism, I knew the boy had done the deed. I tried to coax the perpetrator into admitting it was him. This was extremely hard because I was constantly interjected by the finger pointer at every turn, so harshly did he judge the wrongdoing.
After a discussion on respecting books, I spoke about the deed itself and how I thought that it had been an unconscious action, not a deliberate naughtiness. I could see that it was a case of restless fingers.
Then I spoke about how not one of us is perfect, we all do wrong, even me as an adult, and it takes courage and character to admit our mistakes. Something I must have said had an effect on the boy, because when I asked again he put up his hand and admitted it was him.
I was elated, I was proud, I was happy, I wanted to cry. It was a turn around that delighted my heart. I told him that I still had to tell the teacher about the damaged book, but that I was proud of the way he had owned up, I acknowledged his bravery, and I told him that I would help him.
On my walk home I realised that I was exactly the same as the little boy who had done wrong. No matter how hard I tried, I could not be ‘good’. But when I go to God and admit my wrongdoing, He is elated because I have not tried to hide what He already knows.
I know that I have His forgiveness, and He will show me how to change if I ask for His help. It is never easy because by nature I have struggles, but He knows them all, and loves me anyway. He has brought me a long way, and I have a long way to go, but as long as I continue to seek Him, His forgiveness, and His help, He will be with me. In spite of my inability to be ‘good’, I am a delight to Him.
YOU are a delight to Him too. This Easter know that Jesus came so YOU can go to HIM. He is elated when you seek Him.
1 John 1:9 – ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’
Luke 15:7 – ‘I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’
Matthew 7:1-2 – ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’
John 3:16 – ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’