Monday, February 27, 2012

The Ellenvale Gold winner is...

Thank you for not only reading my blog, but for entering the competition.

Ellenvale Gold


To the winner......

The one ...

The only...

Lynda R Young 

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ellenvale Gold by Amanda Deed + Interview

Ellenvale Gold
~ An Aussie Review ~

The Blurb...

It is the time of Australia's harsh rogue-filled goldrush of the 1850s when Miss Penelope Worthington suddenly finds herself orphaned, isolated and alone. With a large sheep station to run single-handedly, she has little option but to enlist the aid of a mysterious, but sinister stranger. But who is the more treacherous? Gus-the scruffy, trespassing, ex-convict who co-incidentally shows up looking for work just when she desperately needs a farmhand or Rupert-the handsome, wealthy neighbour who would willingly marry her at the drop of a hat and solve her apparent dilemma? Repeatedly, her faith is tested as she faces the unforgiving elements, deceit, lies and uncertainty. But where and how will it all end? it the end? Will vengeance return or will Penny's faith prevail? Amanda Deed is the award winning author of The Game, which was awarded the CALEB Fiction Prize in 2010. (copied from Goodreads)

 ~Inspirational Christian Historical Romance ~

After reading Amanda Deed’s, ‘The Game,’ I could not wait to read Ellenvale Gold. Though it was a great read, it wasn’t the nostalgic magnificence that The Game was.

Thoughts while reading…
Do you consider yourself above … or below others? Throughout Ellenvale Gold a major theme is class or where you stand in society. Back in the 1850s those with higher a status never thanked their servants and basically treated all convicts like dirt. While reading I thought back to my own upbringing, and I did have thoughts of being better than others, how wrong I was. We are all equal in God’s eyes.

The strong Christian themes in Ellenvale Gold reminded me to take the big decisions to God and not try to work everything out myself.

Ellenvale Gold is the first in the Jackson Creek series. Amanda has set the scene beautifully for the next book.


Your first two books are historical romances, is this your favourite genre? And do you think you’ll always write in this genre?

Historical Romance is definitely my favourite genre. As far as always goes - probably not. I do have ideas for tween novels and YA novels and fantasies - well, too many ideas really. I guess I'll have to see how it all pans out.

Being a musician, does this influence your writing? If so how?

I haven't used my knowledge of music to a great extent so far. But I would like to write a novel or two with musical characters in them. In my current WIP my leading lady is proficient on the piano and has a lovely singing voice, but I would like to make it the main focus of a character sometime in the future.

Do you have a favourite author?

My very, very favourite happens to be Stephen Lawhead. Almost every time I pick up one of his novels, I am dreading the end by the time I'm a few chapters in - I know it will be over soon and I'll have to wait a long time for the next one.

Have you panned for gold?

Possibly some time in my childhood, with my rellies who lived out near Ballarat, or when we visted Sovereign Hill. But not that I can remember clearly. It would be fun to do though, I think.

2012 Book Challenge

I purchased a copy of Ellenvale Gold. Then I won a copy through Narelle Atkins. So Instead of keeping both I thought I'd give one away. A huge thank you to Amanda Deed and Narelle. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blue Skies by Fleur McDonald

Blue Skies
~ An Aussie Review ~ 

Armed with an honours degree in Agribusiness, Amanda Greenfield dreams of employing all the skills she's learnt at college to help her father turn the family farm from a debt-ridden, run-down basket case into a thriving enterprise. Then tragedy strikes with the death of Amanda's mother in a car accident. Wracked by grief and guilt, and wearied by the long struggle to keep Kyleena a going concern, Amanda's father argues that they should sell up and get on with their lives away from the vagaries of drought and fluctuating stock and crop yields. Having inherited half the farm from her beloved mother, whom she also grieves for, Amanda determines to summon all her strength, grit and knowhow to save Kyleena. Along the way she faces mixed fortunes in both love and life... (blurb copied directly from Goodreads)

Recently I read Heart of Gold by Fiona Palmer, that dealt with depression and now I’ve just finished Blue Skies by Fleur McDonald – which also deals with depression. Depression can strike anyone down and if undetected or unnoticed, the consequences could be heartbreaking. I’ve put some links on the Heart of Gold post to do with depression… please pop over to that page and check the links out if you suspect anyone close to you may be suffering with this illness.

Thoughts while reading Blue Skies
I had one main train of thought the whole way through, and that was, our actions can affect others. In this life we live, we can only be responsible for how we act and how we react to others around us. But in those actions, other people are often affected. Kind of made me think twice (or make a mental note to think twice) with decisions and changes I implement in life around me – as it will always affect other people – for good or bad – and that is always an unknown.

Blue Skies is a brilliant book by Fleur McDonald, I literally could not put it down! It had mystery, intrigue, fear, history, courage and love wrapped up in a page turning saga.

2012 Book Challenge

This is an unsponsored review 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is fiction DANGEROUS?

For some reason, at a stage in my life, I began to think I needed fixing. I devoured self help books. I listened to people who, ‘didn’t waste their time on fictional books’ and I spent my time hunting down motivational/self help books. But my dreamy, creative side was lacking. It was only on holidays that I dared to open a novel, and even then, all of my friends looked down on me reading, ‘fiction!’??

Ok, so perhaps I’m exaggerating. I have always had friends (sister/sister in law) who love to read a good novel. It was just a stage I went through. Years of hardly reading novels.

I often come across women (and men) who do not allow themselves the pleasure to read a novel, and every time I meet with one of these women, I encourage them to grab a book … I even hand them a book or two to get them started... but some do not accept my offer.

The lovely Anne Hamilton has written a post on Why its dangerous NOT to Read fiction. Pop on over, she has many great points.

As I’m nearly 40... I’m glad to say… I’m ok with me. I don’t get it right every time... but that’s ok – it doesn’t mean I need fixing – it just means I still have many lessons to learn. Lessons that can be learned through living life and reading novels.

Have you ever not read novels?