Friday Weekend Escape to Canberra, Australia: Lake Burley Griffin

Today we’re escaping for the weekend to my hometown of Canberra, Australia. I live in the national capital, population of just under four hundred thousand, in the Australian Capital Territory. Lake Burley Griffin is a man-made lake in the centre of Canberra.  We’re going to relax on an afternoon cruise around the lake, taking in the gorgeous scenery.

Telstra Tower, located on Black Mountain in the photo below, is one of the most prominent landmarks in Canberra. Situated on the western side of the central business district (CBD), it’s visible on the horizon from a large number of Canberra suburbs.

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The Australian War Memorial is located on the northern side of the lake, to the east of the CBD. In the photo below, the War Memorial building is above the memorial plaque on the lake foreshore.

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Canberra is known as the bush capital, and is the largest inland city in Australia. The city centre, pictured below, is low rise compared to many cities, and in keeping with the natural demography of the landscape.

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Canberra is surrounded by mountains to the west and south. Falling for the Farmer, The Nurse’s Perfect Match, and The Doctor’s Return are set in the South Western Slopes region of New South Wales. The Brindabella Ranges are visible on the western horizon in the photo below, and the fictitious town of Snowgum Creek is located on the other side of the Brindabella Ranges. It’s only a short drive south from Canberra, less than two hours, to the Snowy Mountains.

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Parliament House is on the southern side of the lake, opposite the Australian War Memorial. The flag on top of Parliament House is visible on the left hand side of the photo below.

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The Kingston foreshore is a recent development on the lake. There is little development on the waterfront, and you don’t feel like you’re in the middle of a city when you’re out on the water.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed cruising around Lake Burley Griffin. Next week we’re going to explore one of my favourite places just outside of Canberra. Enjoy your weekend!

Book Recommendation: Dear God, it’s me and it’s urgent by Marion Stroud

Dear God its me and its urgent

Book Description:

Here are soul-building moments for every woman, at every age. These prayers are ideal for private devotion and meditation, or for sharing with other women. Inspiring and enriching, they are rooted in everyday life. Topics range widely, from a Bride’s Prayer on the eve of her wedding to Shopping with a Daughter and Blue Monday. With imagination and care Marion offers prayers for every season. Each prayer is enriched with Scripture and thought-provoking quotations.

Narelle: I enjoyed reading this devotional prayer book. The front cover includes the description ‘Prayers for every season of a woman’s life’ and it sums up the essence of this lovely book. The devotional prayers are divided up into six sections and cover different aspects of a woman’s life, including marriage, children, work, caring, and growing older. Topical issues are covered with sensitivity and include heartfelt prayers that provide direction for women seeking Biblical wisdom.

Dear God, it’s me and it’s urgent is the type of book you can pick up and read in bite size chunks. Or, you can work through it each day over three months. The devotions include relevant quotes, applicable Bible verses, and a prayer that you can pray as you read. I appreciated the wisdom and insights I gained from each devotional prayer. I recommend this book to women looking for a helpful devotional book that provides a focus for their daily prayer time.

Many thanks to Lion Hudson (Monarch Books) for providing a review copy.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Available in Australia at Koorong Book Stores

Heartsong Presents June New Releases

My second fiction book release with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line, The Nurse’s Perfect Match, was released in May 2014. Today I’m posting information on the new Heartsong Presents releases for June.

Four Heartsong Presents books are released each month under the Love Inspired brand: two contemporary inspirational romances and two historical inspirational romances. The Love Inspired range of books include contemporary romance (Love Inspired), historical romance (Love Inspired Historical) and romantic suspense (Love Inspired Suspense).

North American readers can purchase books from the Harlequin Reader Service. International readers outside the USA and Canada can purchase the print books online from Amazon and The Book Depository (free international shipping). If you’re looking for inspirational (Christian) romances to read, please check out the Heartsong Presents and Love Inspired books.

A Romance Rekindled

SUSAN HILL ISN’T READY TO FORGIVE

The small-town CPA can’t forget how Blake Mitchell jilted her and left their hometown without an explanation. But when her first love returns to Leavenworth, the ruggedly handsome writer evokes conflicting emotions, especially when Susan meets the child she assumes is his daughter.

Since his parents’ deaths six years ago, Blake’s been raising his little sister on his own. But he’s never forgotten the woman he left behind. Now, he can’t undo the past, but maybe he can change the future…if he can convince Susan to give him one more chance.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

The Rancher Next Door

JENNY GORDON DESPERATELY NEEDS A HOME

Raising her orphaned siblings alone hasn’t been easy. So when she suddenly inherits a cabin in Arizona, she plans to settle down and stay forever. Jenny is sure that she doesn’t need help from anyone. Especially not Mitch Anderson, the handsome neighbor her young brother and sister idolize.

Mitch is an ambitious rancher who’s convinced Jenny won’t stay. After all, his mother and fiancée both abandoned him for the big city. When Jenny fights hard to keep her home, Mitch realizes she belongs in the desert he loves so much. But will he learn that trust is the soul of romance?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Ozark Reunion

COMING HOME IS BITTERSWEET FOR RILEY BLAKE

In the aftermath of the Great Depression, it’s time for Riley to start over. And the first step is winning the trust of his Missouri hometown. But it isn’t easy for a man with a troubled past. Especially when his first love, Jolene Delaney, seems to believe that the new rumors about him are true.

After Riley broke her heart, Jolene threw herself into teaching school and caring for her father and little sister. But she knows something is missing from her life. Especially when she comes face-to-face with Riley again. Can he convince Jolene that he’s truly a changed man? Or will he succumb to old temptations and destroy her faith in him once again?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Bride by Necessity

JONATHAN LAMBRICK NEVER PLANNED TO MARRY AGAIN

But when the master of Kent Park takes in the orphaned daughter of a tenant, Jonathan doesn’t expect his young charge to be a stunning woman. Or for a predatory relative to lay claim to her. Marriage may be the only way to protect Payton from an unthinkable fate.

Payton Whittard knows her marriage to Jonathan is about safety, not love. But the feelings that soon arise during their arrangement are anything but safe. Still, there’s something about her handsome protector that makes her trust him with her life. Can Payton trust him with her heart, as well?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

The inspiration for my Snowgum Creek book series (plus giveaway)

Today I’m blogging on the Inspy Romance group blog. I’m talking about the iconic Australian movie, The Man from Snowy River, and the inspiration for my Snowgum Creek series. The post includes a print giveaway of The Nurse’s Perfect Match, my latest release and the second book in the Snowgum Creek series. I hope to see you there!

http://www.inspyromance.com/the-inspiration-for-my-snowgum-creek-book-series-plus-giveaway/

USA trip: Cobb Salad and Weetbix

This is the final post from my USA trip. Last week I shared the highlights from my overnight visit in Hawaii on the way home to Australia. I have two favourite foods when I’m travelling in the USA. The first is Weetbix, and I travel with a small box of Weetbix from Australia. A bowl of Weetbix with milk is my preferred breakfast, whether I’m at home or abroad.

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My second favourite food is Cobb Salad. It’s very difficult to find Cobb Salad on a restaurant menu in Australia. There is one pizza chain where I live that offers it, but it doesn’t compare in taste or quality to the Cobb Salads I’ve sampled in the USA.

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Above is a photo of a Cobb Salad I enjoyed in a Seattle restaurant. Below is a photo of a Cobb Salad from an Indianapolis restaurant.

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The photo below is a Cobb Salad from a restaurant in Portland, Oregon.

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I’m heading back to the USA in July for the Romance Writers of America conference, and I’ll be looking for Cobb Salad in San Antonio, Texas. The cinnamon roll I sampled in Oregon was a definite foodie highlight. We don’t have cinnamon rolls in Australia.

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The most interesting food I sampled was dirty chips at a baseball game in Seattle. I will always associate baseball with the garlic aroma of dirty chips.

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Next Friday I’m starting a new travel series on my blog called Friday Weekend Escapes. I hope you’ll stop by and check out the gorgeous locations we can dream about visiting, or visit through reading a good fiction book set in that location.

ACRBA Blog Tour It’s Just You and Me Lord by Marion Stroud

19th – 23rd  May 2014

is introducing

‘It’s Just You and Me Lord’ 

(Monarch, October 2013)

By 

Marion Stroud

 

About the Book

Women are most likely to express their deepest thoughts to a trusted friend. At its best, prayer is simply that; a conversation with a friend who is never too tired, too busy or too pre-occupied to listen and respond.

From personal prayers to prayers about family,friends and the wider world, interweaved with Scripture and thought provoking quotes, this inspirational resource helps women of all ages to genuinely connect with God,and build and maintain a strong prayer life.

About the Author

Marion Stroud has written 3 children’s books, and 23 non-fiction titles. She lives in Bedford UK the town in which John Bunyan wrote his famous Pilgrim’s Progress. She is a cross cultural trainer for Media Associates International [www.littworld.org] which works to help Christian writers, editors and publishers write and publish culturally appropriate material in the ‘spiritually hard places’ of the world. You can contact marion at www.marionstroud.com

Narelle: I enjoyed reading this lovely devotional book of everyday prayers for women. The devotional prayers are divided up into six sections and cover different aspects of a woman’s life, including marriage, children, friends, work, family of faith, and the wider world. Many everyday issues are covered with sensitivity, and include heartfelt prayers that provide direction for women seeking Biblical wisdom. Practical applications are provided for women who are praying through difficult and challenging circumstances in their lives.

It’s Just You and Me Lord is a book you can pick up and read in small sections. Or, you can plan to use the book for your daily devotions over two to three months. The devotions include relevant quotes, applicable Bible verses, and a prayer that you can pray as you read. I appreciated the wisdom and insights I gained from each devotional prayer. I recommend this book to women looking for a helpful devotional book that provides a focus for their daily prayer time.

Many thanks to Lion Hudson (Monarch Books) for providing a review copy.

Book Cover Reveal: The Doctor’s Return

The Doctors Return cover

Megan Bradley Is Putting Down Roots

After years spent traveling the globe, she never expected to be back in her hometown sharing an office with her former sweetheart, Dr. Luke Morton. Megan is focused on building her business, and doesn’t have time to dwell on past mistakes. But she can’t ignore her feelings for the handsome doctor who works down the hall.

Luke is afraid to trust his heart to Megan, knowing she may not stay for long. But as they work together, their romance quickly rekindles. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes her way, Luke must free Megan to choose between a big-city career or love and family…right there in Snowgum Creek.

Narelle: I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for my third contemporary inspirational romance set in the Snowy Mountains region of Australia. The Doctor’s Return will be released on August 5, 2014. It’s available for pre-order at the following stores:

Harlequin

Amazon

Christianbook.com

The Book Depository (free delivery worldwide)

Barnes and Noble

Parable Christian Stores

Cokesbury

Books-A-Million

IndieBound

Deeper Shopping

AllBookStores.com

Australian Christian Book Stores:

Koorong