8 October 2016

ACRBA Tour Beyond the Fight by Carol Preston

3 - 7 October 2016

is Introducing

( Rhiza Press, 1 April 2016)

By Carol Preston

About the Book:
Percy Smith has always wondered why he didn’t identify with his father, but he never expected the revelation about his past that comes at the beginning of the First World War. In shock and pain he finds himself in a place far from home, where he meets Mabel Smart, a young woman who is also struggling to find her own identity in her family.
Both Percy and Mabel must confront the issues raised by the war; internment of German born Australians, the push for conscription, the rush of young men to fight on the battlefields of Europe, and divisions in the Australian population over enlistment.
Ultimately Percy and Mabel’s search will be about finding a way to be at peace with their families.

About the Author:
Carol lives with her husband, Neil, in Wollongong, New South Wales. After their two children, Tammy and Adam, started school, Carol returned to study and completed a PhD at Wollongong University in 1986.
She is now a Psychologist in private practice. Carol enjoys gardening, bushwalking, spending time with her family and researching her family history. Her novels are based on her Australian ancestory. Carol's books in her Turning the Tide series published by Even Before Publishing include Mary's Guardian, Charlotte's Angel, Tangled Secrets and Truly Free.
Carol is also the author of Suzannah's Gold and Rebecca's Dream. Her first book with Rhiza Press is Next of Kin.
For more information about Carol's books and her other interests she can be contacted on her website: www.carolpreston.com.au

30 September 2016

Book Review of An Aussie Summer Christmas

An Aussie Summer Christmas 

Melbourne Memories by USA Today bestselling author Marion Ueckermann 
Escaping his dangerous past, former British rock star Justin “The Phoenix” Taylor flees to Australia. Intrigued by the bearded stranger visiting her coffee shop, Ella Anderson decides to discover his secrets. But when Justin’s past collides with their future, Ella must decide whether they have a future at all. 

Next Door Santa by USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams 
Will Harris is proud of his no-complications life. So why is he drawn to his upstairs neighbor, who seems obsessed with Christmas? Can Bridie soften Will-the-Scrooge’s heart in time for Christmas? 

Seaside Christmas by Narelle Atkins 
Political advisor and former bad boy Gus Donovan is intrigued by Chelsea Somers, the girl he didn’t call after their one and only date, six years ago. Chelsea is impressed by the new Gus, but can she trust him with her family secrets ... and with her heart? 

A Christmas Resolution by Rose Dee 
Breeah has avoided returning to her Australian coastal hometown of Kiisay Point for ten years—avoided the mistake that changed her life, ruined her friendships, and soured her first love. She’s never returned to Resolution, the island where it all happened. But now she’s back, and having to face up to the childhood she loved, the man she can’t forget, and the future that won’t start until she lets it all go. 

All is Bright by Andrea Grigg 
Amy’s always been a good Christian girl…except for being in love with her brother-in-law. Josh is looking for love again, surprised to find it with his late wife’s sister. But will a mountain of guilt and an unexpected letter stop them from making it to the altar? 

Falling for Maddie Grace by Meredith Resce 
Australia’s first professional female football umpire, Maddie Grace, gets knocked out in an on-field accident, crushed beneath the weight of an athletic sports star. What is it about the visual images that has the media making up stories of a secret love affair? Escaping the paparazzi is one thing, but escaping each other is quite another.

My Review
I really enjoyed this box set. Each story is different but has the Aussie connection and a beach connection.

Melbourne Memories by USA Today bestselling author Marion Ueckermann 
This is the first book and I have to say I wasn't sure how I would like this book as Justin was a rock star and its not my sort of hero but I actually really liked the story. It shows how a chance meeting when someone has hit rock bottom can help change a life. Justin ends up in Australia where he comes in contact with Ella who wants to learn his secrets not knowing how it may affect her. I really loved the way it showed how Justin turns his life around and his wanting to make amends for his past. 

Next Door Santa by USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams 
I love Bridie, I think I like her cos shes has a job I would love. She is full of life although she has had plenty of heartache in her life. Will on the other hand seems to be more focused on working and not doing much else. We see an incident happen in which the two will be brought together and then need to work together. I enjoyed the story and learning both stories of why they are how they are. It also teaches not to judge by appearances as there is often more to a story than one thinks. 

Seaside Christmas by Narelle Atkins 
In this book we see Chelsea and Gus meet up again after 6 years. Chelsea wonders if Gus really has changed or if its just an act. She is also still grieving the passing of her sister. She has also told her father she will never reveal some of the details to her sisters death. She also wonders if she can handle someone who is in the political arena. I enjoyed their story and seeing how it unfolded. 

A Christmas Resolution by Rose Dee 

Breeah has returned home after the passing of her uncle. She hasn't been back for 10 years and wants to avoid some people. She made a mistake 10 years ago and still feels guilty. This story deals a lot with forgiveness and not just of others but of yourself. In many ways I felt like Breeah found herself in this book along with reconnecting with a former friend.

All is Bright by Andrea Grigg 

Amy feels she is bad because she loves her brother in law, she has loved him for a long time but knew he was off limits and never acted on the feelings or told anyone, she would never to that to her sister. Even with her sister gone for many years she still hasn't told anyone. Josh gets a letter from his late wife which changes everything between them. I actually found this book refreshingly in the way it showed Amy and her feelings and how she struggled with them. 

Falling for Maddie Grace by Meredith Resce 

Now here is a story I can appreciate. While I love cricket more I am an AFL fan. Maddie Grace is a umpire who has the misfortune of being knocked out by a star Zac. The media have a field day with this as Zac is also referred to as the Rev due to studying ministry and being squeaky clean. They know each other from years back when her father was the coach of Zac's team but nothing more. Seeing this story play out was interesting. Once again another good read.

29 September 2016

Dancing in the Hall by Linda Cobourn

It was one of those rare moments, a spontaneous celebration erupting out of nowhere. The adult students in my Communications II class were learning the rhetorical strategies of pathos, ethos, and logos by presenting short skits. The last skit provoked a lot of noise, with one student bursting into the classroom waving a loaded eraser while the student portraying Pathos cowered under a desk crying. So loud had been her screams that several male students and the dean showed up at our doorway.

To “get back at me” for the disruption my class had caused, the professor of Music Empowerment chose to bring her students out to the hallway to sing “I’m Every Woman.” I led my class out to join in. There we were, forty students and two professors, dancing and singing during class hours. 

I watched the faces of my students: they were joyous, elated to be engaging in a few moments of revelry, casting off their cares of being adult students with jobs, families, and financial woes.

Adults need the opportunity to play. In 2016, studies report that 30% of adults are working at multiple jobs. With the responsibility of children still living at home and elder parents needing care, the adult of 21st century America is stressed, tired, and on the verge of emotional collapse. Some adults have also returned to school for greater employment opportunities following job loss.

College programs designed for adult students are different than traditional programs.  Most adults who return to school are only on campus for class and library use. It is no wonder that adult students feel isolated. This sense of isolation is a reason only one out of four adult college students finish a degree. Reasons students drop out range from financial to family concerns, but high on the list is emotional overload.

Continuing education should bring with it joy in acquiring new knowledge and self-satisfaction in reaching a goal, but the opposite is often true. The overwhelming work required of higher education squeezes out the little leisure time left over from other responsibilities. Adults who do manage to finish their degrees report that they feel elated when the process is over.

But there's nothing wrong with a little elation along the way. We should all occasionally dance in the hallway.


Dr. Linda Cobourn is a literacy specialist who works with at-risk learners and non-traditional college students. Her research interests include building college-ready skills in middle school students and providing academic support to adult learners. Dr. Cobourn also cares for her disabled husband and autistic son and writes about the experiences at http://writingonthebrokenroad.blogspot.com/

27 September 2016

RABT Blog Blitz of Captain No Beard The Series by Carole P Roman with giveaway

Children’s Fiction
Date Published: July 3, 2012 -  December 31, 2015

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The Captain No Beard series has nine published books in the series.  They all take place in the imagination of a young boy who pretends he and his friends are pirates.  Each book teaches valuable lessons. The Captain No Beard series can open discussions on important subjects such as sharing, bossiness, bullying, responsibility, and stranger danger. Using imagination, the crew of the Flying Dragon navigates the waters of the world, learning valuable lessons along the way.  Whether the topic is sharing, tolerance, stranger danger or bullying, the crew resolves their issues together with humor and sensitivity.

About the Author

Award-winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons and combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. She has two highly successful series and is launching this new exciting series about civilizations throughout time. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

Contact Links

Email: cnbbook@gmail.com

Purchase Links

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26 September 2016

3 Everyday Lessons for an Alzheimer’s Caregiver by Kathleen Brown

I discovered Mom had Alzheimer’s during a September trip. September. Its flower is the forget-me-not; its gemstone, the sapphire. Sapphires were once associated with clear thinking. As I began caring for Mom, in the house where I grew up, I hoped the clear thinking part was for me.

If you’re an at-home caregiver, you know it presents unique challenges. My first weeks with Mom felt like one emergency after another; I was on adrenaline overload. Then I began noticing the miracles: tiny ones (finding one of Mom’s shoes in the trash can), and huge ones (Mom suddenly agreeing to a long-needed bath). Feeling the Lord’s presence and help, I calmed down and began to learn. Fear not—you’ll see miracles, too.

Three of the Biggest Everyday Lessons

#1-You always have options.

In the beginning I thought there was only one right way to accomplish any care task. Wrong. There will always be more than one way to do what you need to do. Finding the best way, however, means we must look at all the options.

Example: Doctor to Mom: “Exercise.”

Mom to doc: “No.”

Solution: Two carts at the mega-store. While Dad shopped with one, Mom used the other like a walker, happy to stroll with me all around the store.

#2-Be ready to laugh.

Laughing in the face of Alzheimer’s is absolutely necessary for survival. The day Mom opened her mouth and I saw her dentures were in upside down, I smiled when I wanted to cry. After I fixed them, I laughed. Her poor gums were no longer being bitten by false teeth! Humor is an invaluable companion in caregiving.

#3-You will make it, even through the most difficult times.

When you need strength, you’ll have it. When you need words, they’ll come to you. When there’s nothing you can do to help your loved one, she will, against all odds, help herself. I can’t tell you how it happens—who can explain a miracle?—but I can tell you that resolution always comes. Expect it.

Expecting solutions widens your field of vision. You’ll find resources and strategies you won’t see if your eyes are closed in despair.

We hope effective treatments for Alzheimer’s will come—someday. Ways to cure and even prevent it. Until then, our peace will be in knowing we can help our loved ones through it. We can.


Kathleen Brown is a writer, speaker, and firm believer in everyday miracles. The author of A Time for Miracles: Finding Your Way through the Wilderness of Alzheimer’s, she focuses her work on needs of at-home Alzheimer’s caregivers. You can reach Kathleen through her blog, www.hopeandhelpforalzheimers.wordpress.com, or by email to kbrown.writer@gmail.com.

22 September 2016

The Whisperer by Joanie Shawhan

Stop. Listen! Do you hear the whispers of ovarian cancer? This insidious disease assaults over 20,000 unsuspecting women per year and is the most lethal of all female cancers. Since there are no screening tests, it is often diagnosed in the latter stages.

Despite my background in oncology nursing, I missed the whispers of ovarian cancer. Over the course of several months, I experienced nausea, mistaking these episodes for the flu. Fleeting thoughts of ovarian cancer crept into my mind, but I dismissed them. I rationalized. This nausea is too infrequent to be ovarian cancer.

But in September 2006, I rolled over in bed and felt a hard grapefruit-size mass in my abdomen. The whisperer roared.

My doctor thought it was a uterine fibroid, but we needed to schedule an ultrasound. In the darkened room, the ultrasound technician furrowed her brow and shot me a glance. Something was wrong.

After examining the images, my doctor announced her verdict—ovarian cancer—the size of a cantaloupe. She rattled off the tests and surgery that needed to be scheduled. Words spilled over her lips, sounding foreign and distant. I sat numb, frozen. Is she talking to me?

I had witnessed the devastating side effects of chemotherapy suffered by my patients, and vowed that I would never undergo chemo. But now, I felt powerless to carry out this resolution. The side effects of the drugs terrified me: baldness, fatigue, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and a life-threatening allergic reaction.

My nursing scrubs and shoes gave way to tieback gowns and skid-free gripper socks. I was one of them, dragged through the theme park of cancer.

Today, I am cancer free. I lost myself to ovarian cancer, but in losing myself, I found a new purpose and calling in my life—to advocate for and educate women regarding ovarian cancer. One way I do this is by writing encouraging articles for women undergoing chemotherapy.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Stop and listen for the symptoms that whisper. The life you save may be your own.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:

v  Pain or pressure in the pelvis, abdomen or lower back
v  Abdominal bloating or a sense of fullness
v  Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, gas or indigestion
v  Urinary frequency or urgency
v  Fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor.


Joanie Shawhan is an ovarian cancer survivor and a registered nurse. She writes encouraging articles for women undergoing chemotherapy. Her publishing credits include Coping with Cancer magazine and God Still Meets Needs. She speaks to medical practitioners in the Survivors Teaching Students program. Check out her blog at www.joanieshawhan.com.

19 September 2016

What to Say When To a Depressed Loved One by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Death and life are in the power of the tongue...” Proverbs 18:21

What we say to others can either build them up or tear them down. We must take care not to further injure someone in their suffering from something we say.

As a neuropsychologist, I’m witness to the well-intentioned but misdirected words of friends and family to depressed loved ones that only serve to pull them down further.

When people suffer from depression, they often also harbor low self-esteem, guilt, and shame. What they crave is to know they are loved, accepted, and not alone.

Let Scripture help you determine what to say to a depressed loved one: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Here are a few things to say to someone struggling with depression:

-I love you. There is no better time to hear this than when they are struggling to love themselves and wonder if others truly love them too.

-I’m here for you. This is one of the most comforting things you can say to someone feeling alone.

-You are important to me. It’s vital to know they are still acceptable, accepted, and important.

-I’m sorry that you are going through such a painful time. Expressing your sorrow for their pain communicates that you care, even if you don’t fully understand.

-Is there something I can do for you? This communicates your willingness to help and just your offer will lend comfort and encouragement.

-You may not believe this now, but you won’t always feel this way. The depressed individual often needs reminding that there is hope.

-We will get through this together. This communicates your acceptance, and your love.

-Nothing. Actions often do speaker louder than words. I remember when Job encountered great hardship. Job 2:13 says his friends came and sat with him for seven days and nights. During that time, they didn’t speak a word because they saw how great his pain was. Words could do nothing to help his misery, but their company spoke volumes.

Remember, when you are speaking to a depressed loved one, your goal is to encourage and uplift them. “But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief” (Job 16:5 NLT).

How will you encourage a loved one today?


Author, speaker and neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and their family. She offers practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com

15 September 2016

Writer, Do You Want to Break Into the Homeschool Market? by Susan K. Stewart

At a Christian trade show recently I asked representatives of several publishers about tween novels to review for my homeschool audience. Generally the reaction was “We have this curriculum or this journal.” I was looking for novels, not curriculum.

This reinforced that many in the publishing world think homeschoolers only want “teaching” material. They have trouble breaking into the market because they don’t know it.

My sons loved Lee Roddy’s http://www.leeroddybooks.com/index.htm books. Hank the Cowdog http://www.hankthecowdog.com/ by John R. Erickson is another favorite of homeschoolers. Neither series is written specifically for homeschoolers, but are enjoyed because the stories are fun and well written.

Like Roddy and Erickson, you can break into the homeschool market. Here’s how:

Step 1 – Know the market.

You can read all the statistics about an average homeschooler. It’s far better, though, if you get to them yourself. Read the homeschool websites, attend homeschool events open to the public, and, with permission, follow homeschool social media groups.

Step 2 – Write well.

Just like anyone else, homeschoolers want well-written books. The story is the key.

Step 3 – Don’t make assumptions.

Don’t assume only homeschoolers can write for homeschoolers. Lee Roddy and John R. Erickson aren’t homeschool dads.

Don’t assume that homeschooling is school at home. Often it is vastly different from traditional schools.

Don’t assume you need to have a specific type of character or specific message. Just write a good story.

Three questions are commonly asked when I teach at conferences.

  • Do you market to parents or kids?

Max Elliot Anderson markets his books to parents for boys who are reluctant readers. Lee Roddy talks with boys at conferences to share his stories. Use the same marketing techniques you use for the general market.

  • Is there more of a need for non-fiction or fiction?

In an informal survey, I found homeschool parents are looking for everything from fantasy to finances. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.

  • Should I include a study guide?

If you want to. Some authors offer a study guide, lesson plans, or coloring pages as a free bonus for purchase.

You too can break into the homeschool market with standard marketing techniques: Know the market, write well, and don’t make assumptions. The next time I ask publishers for Christian tween novels to share with my homeschool readers, maybe it will be yours.


Susan K. Stewart - When she’s not tending chickens and peacocks, Susan K. Stewart teaches, writes, and edits non-fiction. Susan’s passion is to inspire readers with practical, real-world solutions. Her books include Science in the Kitchen and Preschool: At What Cost? and the award-winning Formatting e-Books for Writers. You can learn more at her website www.practicalinspirations.com.

12 September 2016

A Friend Who Refreshes by Kolleen Lucariello

As we flip our calendars from August, ushering in September, we say farewell to our summer vacations and hello to the season of back-to-school, cooler temperatures of fall and one of the highlights of our home: football. Here’s another bonus of September: it’s also Women’s Friendship Month and I love the gift of friendship!

Recently I was reading in Acts about Paul and how difficult life had become for him. He was beaten, bound with chains, accused by the Jews, imprisoned, taken before councils and Rulers, and then eventually sent to Rome. I imagine by the time Paul boarded the ship to begin his journey to Rome he was a tired man; he’d endured a great deal. As I’m feeling bad for him, this verse jumps out at me: “The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, treating Paul with [thoughtful] consideration, allowed him to go to his friends there and be cared for and refreshed” (Acts 27:3 AMP).

I simply adore the fact Julius, the guard in charge, thought enough of Paul to recognize he needed the care and refreshment of his friends. That part of the story just blesses my heart because I’m so grateful for those who recognized when I needed the care and refreshment only a faithful friend could bring. While my journey, or your journey, may never look like Paul’s, it’s still possible for imprisonment to find us.

We might endure a prison of darkness when depression covers us like a thick heavy blanket. Or chained to a past we can’t seem to move away from. We may find ourselves standing before accusers—relentless in voicing their opinions while refusing to hear ours. Life is full of moments when the waters can become a turbulent sea.

That’s when we need our own Julius, the guard in our lives, to recognize our need for care and refreshment. Who is traveling your journey with you? Who is your guard in life that notices when you’re about to break? Who reaches out when you begin drifting away? We all need a guard like Julius, someone willing to stand by us, giving thoughtful consideration to our needs. And we all crave friends who bring care and refreshment to our lives. Proverbs 11:25b promises, “Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (NIV).

Guarding and Caring always brings:



Kolleen Lucariello is the author of The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am. Read her heart at www.speakkolleen.com. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Pat, for 34 years. Together they have three grown children, and four beautiful grandchildren. They make their home in Upstate New York.

9 September 2016

ACRBA Blog tour Mail Order Bride by Lucy Thompson

5 - 9 September 2016

is Introducing 

Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications (April 19, 2016)

By Lucy Thompson

About the Book:
Colorado, 1881. Lydia Walsh is on the run. The quiet rancher she marries and expected to find safety and protection with turns out to have three siblings, next to nothing to live on, and is a crack shot who may or may not be one of the states best cattle rustlers.

Beau Harding wants to keep his family together and do the right thing by them. His mail order bride comes with her own set of baggage: two more mouths to feed and empty hearts begging him to fill. The job he took for some quick money gets him thrown in jail for rustling, and then to clear his name he takes on another job--and learns that his wife may have been the one plotting his family’s downfall all along.

About the Author:
Hi! My name is Lucy Thompson. I’m a stay-at-home mum to five precocious children and wife to the ultra-handy Dave by day and a snoop by night, stalking interesting characters through historical settings, and writing about their exploits.

I enjoy meeting new people from all over the world and learning about the craft of writing. When I can be separated from my laptop, I’m a professional time waster on facebook (really!), a slave to the towering stack of books on my bedside table, and a bottler, preserving fruit the old fashioned way so I can swap recipes and tips with my characters. 

My home is in central Queensland, Australia where I do not ride a kangaroo to the shops, mainly because my children won’t fit.

Represented by the fabulous Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America.

You can find my review here
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