Mary books

Thursday, 26 December 2013

PART TWO - MY JOURNEY LAST OCTOBER

Do hope you have read Part One before this where I shared a little of our time in Melbourne, with friends at Orange and Tamworth in New South Wales. The main focus of our time on the Australian mainland was the Omega Writers’ CALEB conference in Brisbane, Queensland.

Our home until I was nine on
the black soil plains of the Darling Downs.
However, our next appointments after Tamworth were near and in Dalby on the Darling Downs, over 200 kilometres west of Brisbane. This was the black soil pains area where I grew up and still have extended family on several large farms.  On our old farm on the eastern Downs near Bongeen (the setting of my Search book series now e-books), Dad grew mainly grain crops like wheat, barley and sorghum.  The landscape has changed tremendously, especially with large numbers of much larger dams for irrigating cotton and a variety of other seasonal crops.
 

Bruce organised our time at Dalby















We were booked to stay several days with my brother Stan Pedler on a farm some distance from Dalby. The minister at the church in Dalby was an old friend of ours and a great organiser of a dinner where we spoke and Ray preached at their church the next day. 
It was our first experience doing a book-signing for a general market bookshop. Collins Bookshop was in a large shopping complex and a great experience.

I also enjoyed very much meeting old friends and family, some who live in Dalby and others out on farms I remember visiting many years ago with my own family.


As I mentioned in the last blog post, we were concerned about the “sore” on Ray’s face. The day we arrived at Stan’s, my brother mentioned he had a very painful knee. He lived close to an hour’s drive from Dalby so made an appointment to see his doctor while we were at the book-signing. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so while I stayed with our books for a brief while, Ray went with Stan hoping to be able to also see a doctor at the clinic. I have no doubt God was organising us even more than our friend could have control of. 


My big brother, Stan.
Stan’s doctor took one look and booked Ray in to have it cut out in the surgery the next afternoon. Only later did we discover he was concerned enough to give up his day off to do that. Family and friends have told us this doctor Ray “happened” to see is very highly thought of in the area as the doctor with a great deal of experience at the local Skin Cancer Clinic. Yes, it was a Squamous Cell Carcinoma - still nasty but not as vicious as a melanoma. So for nearly a fortnight during the conference and speaking appointments, Ray had that dressing on his face. 

Oh, need I mention the pain in Stan’s knee also stopped quickly over the next few days? God is good and His mercies endure forever. 

Ruth Bonetti, Anne Hamilton
 and Jo Wanmer
 
We could only spend a brief few hours with family and friends in my home town of Toowoomba on the way to Brisbane and the wonderful CALEB writers’ conference.
Hard working CALEB members who worked hard organising our conference our great conference.
 
 

The Omega Writers organise the Award dinner and fiction finalists wait to be told the dinner.

The few days were a wonderful time of fellowship with other writers. This input to my writing was something I regret very much not having for over ten years in those early days of
trying to write that first book, Search for Tomorrow.
 


The writers in the master class I  presented doing an exercise about point of view and dialogue - while I had a break from speaking.


    
The publisher of Wombat/Even Before Publishing with most of her published authors - except my husband, Ray, who had sneaked off too soon after the dinner.
I am so thrilled and proud of our Aussie writers. May we all continue to try and improve our efforts to give readers more challenging and entertaining books. I am only sorry my camera was not working properly so could have more photos.
 
Currently I am trying very hard to get to what I hope wil be the final revisions for my new single title, Her Outback Cowboy.
When I do get time, afraid I am too slow preparing my blog posts and now Christmas Day has come and gone as I type this on Boxing Day. I do hope all reading this have had a great time yesterday and a restful time today. May you know personally the true wonder of how God has shown His love for us by giving us His only Son.
 
I am afraid I did not think to get my camera out yesterday when at Craig and Rachelle's for our Christmas time together. Those six grandchildren had a wonderful time today with their presents. I stayed with them for a few hours while Mum and Dad - and Grandad too - had to work at Seahorse World and Seahorse Australia breeding farm. Like all farms, the animals - and fish! - still have to be cared for on holidays. 
 
And now the rest of our trip - already over too long ago - has to wait until I have time to prepare PART THREE - especially some more photos I hope you might enjoy.
Would love anyone who is in the above photos to let me know in a comment. 
 
I also have a post last Monday and the next two on some of the basics of writing Christian Romance - Click on this:- Australasian Christian Writers 
 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

MY JOURNEY SINCE LAST AUGUST (Part One)

I wonder how many times over the years I’ve said something like, ‘Where has all the time gone?’ The older I get the faster ‘time’ rushes by. I just checked back and to my horror realised it is nearly four months since I posted a blog here that was not a review of a fellow author’s book.

So much has happened since then I hardly know where to start. Last August here, I renewed some old memories of the wonderful American Christian Fiction Writers conference Ray and I were so privileged to share. Some of my Aussie writer friends were off to this year’s conference so I had to get out some of my old photos. Since then I have tried to keep my Facebook friends up to date on some of my journey. Today am sharing more, including photographs I hope tell more of our time with family, old friends and making new friendships. As always though, we did miss taking photos of some events.

It was a busy time over several months organising our six week trip on the mainland for September and October. Thankfully at the very beginning of our travels neither of us were sea-sick this time on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry to Melbourne. We drove up to Queensland from Melbourne through the inland, back home down the coast from Brisbane to Sydney and then inland again back to Melbourne. By the time we arrived home to our lovely Tasmania, we had travelled 5,124 kilometres and did take some time of course to recover!

First stop Melbourne and a much needed rest with our daughter who took us to the beautiful Rhododendron gardens in the Dandenong mountains:
 
 
 Then we drove through Victoria, stopping at Christian bookshops in towns on the way up to Central West New South Wales to Orange. We once lived in this beautiful city where two of our children were born and where we commenced a new church. Couldn't resist taking a photo of this house. This was the old church manse we lived in and where the first meetings of the church began way back in 1968.
 
 
During those years I was on the committee which commenced the first Christian bookshop in Orange. It was a wonderful privilege to do a book-signing in the shop now known as Pilgrim Christian bookshop.


We stayed with the current minister and his wife, lovely John and Patricia Shuttleworth. 
Ray preached at their Sunday service where we were delighted how many folk filled the chapel and how many bought our books too of course. It was a great time renewing friendship with some old friends still there as well as seeing how God has blessed and grown the ministry of the fellowship we helped commence. We had a lovely evening with the Abel family. My, how the numbers there have grown oven these many years.
 
 
 
Out next overnight stop was Tamworth where we renewed memories again with special friends we had known in Maitland in the Hunter Valley. Merrilyn and Glenn Rose.
 
 
 
Our friends organised a meeting for us. Again wonderful to meet old friends not seen for too many years. I roped Ray in at this meeting to share also about how he had at last given in to his wife's nagging - oops, encouragement of course! - to write devotional books. As well as his first self-published 'Neurotic Rooster', Ray now has four of his themed 31 Day Devotional Book series published by Wombat Books in their Even Before Publishing division. 'Dynamic Ageing' is scheduled for release this coming February and his 'Signpost To Happiness' in May. 


It was in Tamworth we became concerned about
a lesion on Ray's face that was getting worse instead of better from his Tasmanian doctor's treatment.

It is so wonderful to look back and see how God was in control of our scheduling on this trip. That lesion turned out to need urgent treatment....

But that will have to be told in my next blog post:-

                         MY JOURNEY SINCE LAST AUGUST - PART TWO  


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

BLOG TOUR: A New Resolution

 

Rose Dee's books just keep getting better and better. Don't miss her Resolution trilogy and this book tour.
Do scroll right to end of blog to see the giveaway and how to enter. Fabulous prizes.
 
 


2 - 6 December 2013


is Introducing
( Even Before Publishers Oct 2012)

By Rose Dee




About the Book:
Resolution Island is a safe haven for Anika Demeur - a chance to fulfil dreams, find her place in the world, and a new life for her and young son, Kye. But her dreams of a future are shattered when her son's security is challenged, and the rich and privileged Texan, Nate Hollingsworth sails into the bay. Now Ani must not only fight for her son, but also a growing attraction she has to the one type of man she loathes.

Nate is on a mission - to fulfill his mother's last wish, and change his life. Dropping anchor in the idyllic Resolution harbor, he didn't anticipate becoming involved in illegal fishing, a murder, or an unexpected attraction to the most exasperating woman he has ever met.

The Australian tropical Island, Resolution, sets the scene again for adventures, dreams, and new beginnings. A New Resolution is the final book in the 'Resolution' trilogy, following Back to Resolution and Beyond Resolution.




About the Author:
Rose Dee was born in Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel. Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, decided to try her hand at writing two years ago. The result of that attempt is her first novel, Back to Resolution. Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women. Rose's other releases include Beyond Resolution - the second book in the 'Resolution' series. And A New Resolution the final book in the series. Rose has also co-written a novel in conjunction with three other outstanding Australian Authors: The Greenfield Legacy. Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pup, Noodle.
Giveaway:
For all ACRBA members who post the will get an entry into this giveaway. All who leave a comment on any blogs will get an entry into the giveaway. The more blogs you comment on the more entries. This giveaway is open to Australian readers. To enter you need to answer a question about what part of North Queensland you would like to see or leave a comment with a question for Rose. Comments saying sounds interesting enter me will not be equate to an entry. Also leave a way to contact you if you win for example myemail at mymail dot com. entries open til Thursday 12 Dec.
FIRST PRIZE:
E-Reader (Details below) AND: an e-reader version of each one of my 4 novels – the 3 ‘Resolution’ series novels, and The Greenfield Legacy (gifted via email).

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E-Reader:
Reader™ with 6.0" paper-like touch screen (Red)
Model:
PRST2RC
This slim and light Reader with touch screen puts thousands of your favourite stories at your fingertips. Effortlessly turn the page with a swipe of your finger and the glare-free screen reads just like a real book, even under direct sunlight.
6" E-Ink® Pearl is designed to feel like a real book with a glare-free paper-like screen for reading
Battery life of up to 2 months with wireless off and up to 1.5 months with wireless on. Up to 30,000 continuous page turns when reading only
Let your friends and family know what you are reading and share excerpts up to 140 characters with Facebook® built into the Reader™
Store posts, articles, and text-based webpages all in your Reader™ with Evernote’s integrated services
Access public library eBooks and PDF files through the integrated OverDrive® service
eBook purchases will need to be completed via computer


SECOND PRIZE:
A copy of ‘The Greenfield Legacy’, and a Silver and Amber Grapevine inspired pendant. Really pretty, and ties in nicely with TGL as it is set on a vineyard in the McLaren Vale region. Also the cover is pendant inspired.








THIRD PRIZE:
A personalised sign copy of each books in my ‘Resolution’ Series. 3 hard copy books in total.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Blog Tour (and apology) :Streets on a Map



23 - 27 September


Introducing
(Ark House Press December 2010)
By
Dale Harcombe

About the Book
Every choice carries a price as Abby discovers when she marries Joel. If she had known when Joel first walked into Clancy’s what lay in store, she would have stopped the relationship before it got started. However, by the time she found out it was too late. The choice was made. Or so she thought.

But then between her and her one friend in Astley, Laila, they arrive at solution that could benefit Abby and the small county town. A deliberately lit fire and an unplanned pregnancy threaten to bring their carefully laid plans and Abby's dreams undone. Problems of some newcomers to the town impinge on Abby's life too, but it is the arrival of an old resident of Astley that could end up destroying everything and not just for Abby.

Who else's lives will be affected and changed forever. Will the unwelcome arrivals in Astley destroy everything Abby and Laila have worked to achieve? What is the secret that will have all of Astley reeling?



About the Author
Streets on a Map, was published by Ark House Press. Prior to that Dale has had seven children’s books and Kaleidoscope a collection of poetry published. Many poems in Kaleidoscope have been previously published in Australia’s literary magazines. She has won prizes for her poetry and has been published in several anthologies.
Along with her husband, Dale was for a time houseparent for a family of twelve boys. She has also been a manuscript assessor and book reviewer and run creative writing classes. She has also written bible studies and Sunday school lessons. For several years she wrote about Christian living, marriage and home related topics for www.families.com. She has a BA in Literary and Australian studies. More information about Dale can be found at www.daleharcombe.com or on her Write and Read with Dale blog
http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale/


MARY SAYS:
First of all my apologies for not posting here for the last few weeks. I have been concentrating on getting my current manuscript finished and one way to be able to do that is not spend so much time on the internet.

However, can't resist sharing this book with you which I read when it was first released. Don't miss this book! A really good read.


Monday, 2 September 2013

Blog Tour: An Unholy Communion - A Compelling Read

With English and Scottish ancestry, I have always enjoyed historical novels set in the United Kingdom.  While this is a contemporary novel it contains much information about the historical background of special places the characters visit on a pilgrimage. To my delight, while the characters and mystery were very intriguing, this book included places I have been privileged to visit, especially Pembrokeshire and my favourite cathedral at St Davids in Wales. I only wish I’d read this book before being there!

An Unholy Communion is the third book in Donna Fletcher Crow’s Monastery Mystery series but the first book of hers I have ever read. I love “discovering” new authors whose books I really enjoy reading. Her back-list is very impressive and I am looking forward very much to reading other titles.

I am so pleased Donna has kindly agreed to share with us a little about herself. As a reader and a writer also, I found the following very interesting.

Thank you so much, Mary, I’m delighted to be in Australia with you and your readers today—if only virtually.

And I’m so pleased that you enjoyed An Unholy Communion! I’ve wanted to tell the story of St. David and the development of Christianity in Wales for something like twenty years. After I wrote Glastonbury, The Story of Christian England and then The Fields of Bannockburn and The Banks of the Boyne, epics of Christianity in Scotland and Ireland, Wales was the next obvious project. But editors move, markets change, other stories assert themselves. . .in other words, life happens. So I had to wait.


Research in Wales among the tombstones - and the rain.

One of the things I’ve loved most about writing The Monastery Murders is that it has given me a chance to tell stories I’ve long wanted to explore. The first book A Very Private Grave is about St. Cuthbert, book 2 A Darkly Hidden Truth is about the English mystical writers Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. But, as you mentioned above, all these books are actually contemporary mysteries.

Perhaps I should explain. Our daughter studied classics at Oxford, worked in London, went off to study at a theological college run by monks in a monastery in Yorkshire and wound up marrying a Church of England priest. As I shared Elizabeth’s journey and got to know the monks and ordinands at The College of the Resurrection it dawned on me what a great background that would make for a book—actually a series of books.

And so, my heroine Felicity is a young American woman who studied classics at Oxford, worked in London, went off to study. . . well, you get the picture. Everything I write is based on an experience I have had  visiting Elizabeth or on a research trip. Except for the murders, you understand. I love the contrast of keeping everything as realistic as I can and then letting my imagination soar for the mystery bits. And I hope it helps my readers keep the pages turning.

For An Unholy Communion I took part in a 126-mile youthwalk pilgrimage from London to Walsingham. I was a considerably overage “youth” but they were wonderful to me and I learned the logistics of how such an undertaking works. Then I followed the ancient Cistercian Way through southern Wales with a sister mystery writer doing the driving.  We spent a wonderful four-day retreat at St. Non’s on the very southwest tip of Wales, walking the Pembrokeshire cliffs above the ocean, worshipping at St. David’s Cathedral and exploring every inch of the ruined Bishop’s Palace where some of the pivotal action takes place in the book. You can see pictures from my research trips on my website - see details below.

And now I’m hard at work on A Muffled Tolling, book 4 in the series, set in Oxford. Although I have written historical novels such as the epics mentioned above, The Cambridge Chronicles, a six-book series about the history of the Evangelical Anglicans, and The Daughters of Courage, an Idaho pioneer family saga based on my own family, as well as romance, children’s books and nonfiction I’m specializing in mystery writing now, trying to keep up with three series.

The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries is a literary suspense series. Elizabeth and Richard are both English professors and each book has a literary figure in the background: Dorothy L Sayers in The Shadow Reality, Shakespeare in A Midsummer Eve’s Nightmare, and Jane Austen in A Jane Austen Encounter.

My Lord Danvers series is Victorian true-crime where I wrap a fictional mystery around an actual historical murder. A Tincture of Murder is my most recent release—where my research turned up a truly bizarre crime worthy of Dickens, so that story has the bonus of two true crimes.

My husband (of 50 years) and I have 4 children and 12 grandchildren. When I’m not reading, writing or visiting my grandchildren I can be found in my garden. As I write, however, the weeds have taken over. On my website (click on address in details below) you can see trailers for each of my Monastery Murders, read about all my books and see pictures of my garden in more flourishing days.  I would also love to have you follow me on Facebook

Thank you so much for sharing this, Donna, and the photo. I for one will be looking forward to reading your back list - and future novels. 
Here is the detailed information about the book. 
Readers from an Anglo-Catholic and Catholic background may appreciate some of the setting even more than I did, but PLEASE don't let this be a deterrent in anyway from seeing God at work in these characters, story Donna has so wonderfully crafter.

DO CONTINUE TO READ MORE DETAILS BELOW 



2 - 6 September 2013



Introducing

An Unholy Communion

Lion Hudson (1 April 2013)

by

Donna Fletcher Crow
About the Author:


"Donna Fletcher Crow has created her own niche within the genre of clerical mysteries." - Kate Charles, author of Deep Waters


First light, Ascension morning. From the top of the tower at the College of Transfiguration, voices rise in song.


Felicity's delight turns to horror when a black-robed body hurtles over the precipice and lands at her feet.

Her fiancé Father Antony recognizes the corpse as Hwyl Pendry, a former student, who has been serving as Deliverance Minister in a Welsh diocese. The police ignore the strange emblem of a double-headed snake clutched in the dead man's hand, labelling the death a suicide. But Hwyl's widow is convinced otherwise, and pleads for Felicity and Antony to help her uncover the truth.

Matters grow murkier as Felicity and Antony, leading a youth pilgrimage through rural Wales, encounter the same sinister symbol as they travel. Lurking figures follow them. Then a body is found face-down in a well …

"Donna Fletcher Crow gives us, in three extremely persuasive dimensions, the world that Dan Brown merely sketches." - Timothy Hallinan, author of The Queen of Patpong

About the Book:


Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 40 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. She is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave, A Darkly Hidden Truth and An Unholy Communion as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the literary suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.


To read more about all of Donna's books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to: http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/

You can follow her on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY

Monday, 19 August 2013

MEMORIES OF MY AMERICAN CHRISTIAN FICTION WRITERS CONFERENCE

This morning I received an email from the American Christian Fiction Writers Beyond the Borders Zone chapter asking for a photo to be included in a slide show at the Zone breakfast for this years conference. It has been quite a while since I looked at my old photos of that awesome conference Ray and I were so privileged to go to. Memories of that 2009 ACFW in Denver flooded back, especially as I started looking for a photo. Simply can't resist sharing a few here of the many we took that year. 


This photo shows the generosity and friendliness shown by everyone to this rather nervous Aussie intruder. What a thrill it was to listen to these great folk share in the sessions. (L-R) Karen Ball, Allen Arnold and with Debbie Macomber who was the Keynote Speaker that year as well as joining Karen and Allen in these published author sessions. 

Ray enjoyed helping at the Beyond the Border zone table and handing out some of the Aussie goodies at the book-signing  
 Lisa Harris and I first met in Johannesburg four years before and enjoyed meeting her again so very much.
Colleen Coble and I had exchanged emails over the years and how exciting to meet another of my all-time favourite authors.
 Perhaps of all the authors I met, Lena and I have been in touch the longest since the early days of the Barbour Heartsong Presents book club. Who can resist her smile and loving hugs!
 Margaret Daley was kind enough to endorse my Outback From Baragula. She was president of ACFW operating board in 2012.
As well as writing great books, Cheryl Wyatt has since become very involved also on the ACFW board 
Kim Vogel Sawyer too so generously endorsed my Outback From Baragula novel. Like so many of the great authors I met in Denver, many of her beautiful stories are "keepers" on my book shelves. 








And now I'll have to put some of my other photos sometime on my Facebook page instead of here. 
How I would love to be able to go to the ACFW conference this year when other Aussies are going. I know they will be wonderfully blessed and I look forward to seeing their photos and hearing about their experiences.

Monday, 29 July 2013

MY HUSBAND'S NIGHTMARE - AND MY CHUCKLE


After my "Catch Up" blog last week, Ray took pity on me. This priceless story suddenly landed on my desk. After a good laugh, knew I had to share it with you.

I think Ray should be a novelist as well as a devotional writer!


A Husband’s Greatest Fear - Or


("I was swallowed by my Wife’s Handbag.")

I had seen it. Mouth open with zipper pulled right back. Here was a monster waiting a victim. Mary’s handbag had been placed on my favourite seat. As I moved towards it my eyes and mind became distracted by a television news item. Suffering short term memory loss, I decided to sit down. Then the nightmare began.

As my rump squashed the handbag it came alive. It grabbed me. I resisted but the suction was too strong. Down, down, down I went past a forest of paper. I glimpsed such things as a car license, shopping list, an invitation to our grand-daughter’s children tea party and a shopper docket. Trying to cling onto of one was fruitless. In fact I cut my fingers on the sharp edges of the papers. At least my fall was softened by a moist tissue.

There at the base of the bag I realised I was a captive in a fake leather, slightly faded voluminous and crowded bag. Cramped, confused and feeling claustrophobic, panic tried to ride roughshod over me. Being a man however I knew how to cope. I screamed! Unfortunately the soft sides of the bag muffled my cries. Taking a hold of myself I did what any self respecting, self controlled man would do. I lashed out and kicked the nearest item.

“Ouch!” That was silly; now I had a slight gash on my shin from a collection of keys lurking in the crevices like a metal spider.

Only one thing to do, climb! Light seemed to trickle down from above, casting shadows due to Mary’s wallet and credit card holder. Still I realised I had to escape. Loose change made my footing unstable as I searched for the comb I knew she carried. I fell. My face hit something hard yet sweet. A cough lolly. As I licked it I felt a renewed sense of vigour, found the comb under a piece of Lego. This was probably taken from our small grandson who had a habit of putting things in his mouth. I placed the comb, with much effort, against the bag’s side. Comb tooth, by comb tooth, I made my way upwards.

What the…? What was wrapping itself around my leg? What had fallen on my head? A sense of unease was only overcome when, in the dim light, I saw it was strands of grey hair. I never realised Mary’s hair was so strong. It was like Tarzan’s swinging vines. I kicked, shook and finally pulled my way clear.

Who would have thought all those jokes about a woman’s handbag would prove so true? So much stuff closeted away in what I could now believe was similar to Dr. Who’s Tardis. Nervously I continued my climb.

“Careful now,” I said to myself, “don’t fall over the edge into the secret compartment or you’ll never be found.”

Drawing near to the top, I sighed with relief which soon gave way to despair. Fingers had hold of the zipper. Mary was home but danger lurked for me as she began to close the bag’s mouth. Was I about to be devoured? Would Mary ever wonder what had happened to me? And I hadn’t even kissed her that morning!

Tears of fear and frustration joined in a torrential outburst of anger. Too late! I was doomed to wander forever in Mary’s handbag. As I sank down in misery, a cry shattered my sorrow. My eyes flickered. Light penetrated.

A voice spoke to me “Are you alright my darling? What’s happened to you? Why is the chair upside down? How did my bag become squashed and things scattered over the floor? Look at you, you’re a mess and that bruise on your head will need some ice.”

Uh oh! How could I ever tell her the truth?
-----------------------------------------------

We are so grateful to God for over 48 years of sharing fun, ministry, rearing our beautiful family and now writing together.

Do check out Ray's published devotional books - print and e-books.

If you cannot find a printed copy in your bookshop he can sell them direct. 
See the contact page on: http://www.mary-hawkins.com