Book Recommendation ~ A Simple Mistake by Andrea Grigg

Book Description:

When teenage sweethearts Nick and Lainey meet again after more than a decade, so much has changed. Nick is now a famous celebrity and Lainey is the girl he left behind. As a member of a highly successful band and with an emerging acting career, Nick can have any girl he wants. Now he wants Lainey back. Despite Nick’s promise to keep in touch when he left to seek fame and fortune, Lainey never heard from him. Now that time has passed, she has moved on from what she felt. Or has she? After discovering what kept them apart for so long, they tentatively rekindle their past romance. The feelings are just as strong as before but can Lainey accept Nick’s lack of faith? And can their new relationship survive Lainey’s secret? An Australian romance about faith and trust by debut author Andrea Grigg.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this fun romance set in Sydney and Gold Coast, Australia. Lainey is an ordinary girl thrown into an extraordinary situation when she reconnects with Nick at a wedding. Nick is a hero to die for and, despite having his pick of gorgeous women, he wants Lainey.

Lainey struggles with her strong feelings for Nick and the knowledge that they would be unequally yoked if they married. We journey with Lainey and Nick as they face a number of obstacles and a big secret from the past. I recommend this book to those looking for a contemporary romance that deals with real issues facing young Christian women today.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

ACRBA Tour Too Pretty by Andrea Grigg

4 – 8 May 2015

is introducing

Too Pretty

(Rhiza Press, August 2014)

by

Andrea Grigg

About the Book

Being beautiful isn’t easy – just ask Ellie Paxton.

Frustrated by a long string of empty relationships, Ellie makes a promise to God not to date for six months, a promise she’s determined to keep.

Tired of being continually misjudged because of her looks Ellie moves to Sydney for a fresh start. But when her path keeps crossing with the darkly handsome Nathaniel, that promise becomes much harder to fulfil.

As they battle with their attraction for each other, Ellie is not the only one to discover it takes more than simply looking in a mirror to find out who you truly are …

Could it be that God has a bigger plan? Could this really be one of those matches made in heaven …?

About the Author

Andrea Grigg grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, but has lived more than half her life in Australia.

Andrea lives with her husband on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where they have raised their three adult children – two daughters and a son.

Recently retired from teaching ten-year-olds, if she isn’t being a domestic executive or socialising, Andrea can be found in her cave, writing stories.

Narelle: My book recommendation for Too Pretty can be found here.

Book Recommendation: Too Pretty by Andrea Grigg

Too Pretty Front Cover140x205mm WEB

Back cover blurb:

Being beautiful isn’t easy – just ask Ellie Paxton.

Frustrated by a long string of empty relationships, Ellie makes a promise to God not to date for six months, a promise she’s determined to keep.

Tired of being continually misjudged because of her looks Ellie moves to Sydney for a fresh start. But when her path keeps crossing with the darkly handsome Nathaniel, that promise becomes much harder to fulfil.

As they battle with their attraction for each other, Ellie is not the only one to discover it takes more than simply looking in a mirror to find out who you truly are …

Could it be that God has a bigger plan? Could this really be one of those matches made in heaven …?

Narelle: I enjoyed reading Too Pretty, despite at times wanting to sit down with Ellie, the female lead, to give her some much needed parental guidance. Ellie Paxton is a sleaze magnet. Her natural physical beauty draws a combination of admiration and lustful responses from men, and jealous and downright nasty responses from women and her extended family. Unfortunately her immediate family, including her missionary parents, are overseas and effectively absent from her life. The aunts, cousins and friends in her life inadvertently feed Ellie’s obsession with her appearance by talking about it all the time.

Ellie’s insecure despite being told she’s beautiful and, at the same time, she hates feeling like everyone is judging her by her looks. Her extended family accuse her of being self absorbed, which is a natural consequence of any obsession with self. Ellie has poor boundaries and has a history of falling into a series of unhealthy romantic relationships. She makes a promise to God that she won’t date for six months.

Enter the handsome Nathaniel (Nate), a doctor from a wealthy family who has women tripping over themselves to get his attention. He’s Ellie’s match in the beauty stakes. Nate hates all the female adoration whereas Ellie’s poor self esteem leads her to seek adoration for all the wrong reasons. Nate is the brooding, wounded hero who knows he’s not in the right place to start a relationship with Ellie or any other woman. He tries to deny and hide his attraction to Ellie, which piques her interest because he’s not hitting on her.

Ellie and Nate develop a friendship over six months that’s defined by Ellie’s no dating promise. During the story we discover why Nate is in self-protect mode and hesitant to embark on a serious relationship. His character growth was a highlight of the story and I spent the latter part of the book wondering if Ellie was worthy of him. Could she mature and learn the lesson from Proverbs 31 that true inner beauty is what really matters? When God doesn’t come through for Ellie and answer her prayers, she takes a bold step that backfires on her and threatens her relationship with Nate. I recommend Too Pretty to those looking for a fun, contemporary romance set in Australia.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Friday Weekend Escape to Pukerua Bay, New Zealand with Andrea Grigg

I’m delighted to welcome my Aussie author friend, Andrea Grigg, to my blog today. We’re going to escape for the weekend with Andrea to a beautiful bay in New Zealand. Enjoy!

~~~~~

Hi everyone! It’s Andrea Grigg here, ready to whisk you away to the gorgeous little seaside suburb of Pukerua Bay, about 40 mins north of New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. (Just so you know, I was born in New Zealand, but have lived in Australia for over thirty years.)

Andrea_photo1

Whenever my husband and I visit my parents in Paraparaumu, (Maori names are a bit of a challenge, aren’t they?) we zip off to this beautiful cove and soak up the atmosphere. That’s Kapiti Island out there, a nature reserve, home to a number of native New Zealand birds.

Andrea_photo2

This next photo is a personal favourite of mine – not just because it shows my dad and husband being very cheeky behind my mum’s back, but also because of the lovely New Zealand bush in the background. It has a beautiful sweet fragrance, quite different to the herbal tones of the Australian bush.

Andrea_photo3

There are a number of cottages across the road from the beach. Some old and run down, others more modern. All part of the charm of Pukerua Bay. In fact, this little place would be a perfect setting for one of my stories …

Andrea_photo4

As you can see, Pukerua Bay isn’t your typical beach. In fact there is barely any sand at all, just rock pools, shells and piles and piles of driftwood …

Andrea_photo5

… and some enterprising soul has put pieces of that driftwood to good use. Cute little tree, isn’t it? I especially love the heart-shaped piece of pumice at the top. Sigh. It really is a great place for a romance writer.

Thank you for visiting with me – I hope some of you actually get to go there one day. If you do, you’ll have to let me know.

h'shot

ANDREA GRIGG grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, but has lived more than half her life in Australia.

Andrea loves words, finding out what makes people tick, and romance. Her debut novel, A Simple Mistake, is a contemporary romance, and was a finalist in the Caleb Awards 2012. Her second novel, Too Pretty, was released August 2014.

Andrea lives with her husband on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where they have raised their three adult children – two daughters and a son. Recently retired from teaching ten-year-olds, if she isn’t being a domestic executive or socialising, Andrea can be found in her cave, writing stories.

Website: www.andreagrigg.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.andreagrigg?ref=hl
Twitter: @andreagrigg

Too Pretty Front Cover140x205mm WEB

Being beautiful isn’t easy – just ask Ellie Paxton.

Frustrated by a long string of empty relationships, Ellie makes a promise to God not to date for six months, a promise she’s determined to keep.

Tired of being continually misjudged because of her looks Ellie moves to Sydney for a fresh start. But when her path keeps crossing with the darkly handsome Nathaniel, that promise becomes much harder to fulfil.

As they battle with their attraction for each other, Ellie is not the only one to discover it takes more than simply looking in a mirror to find out who you truly are …

Could it be that God has a bigger plan? Could this really be one of those matches made in heaven …?

~~~~~

I’m interviewing Andrea Grigg on Inspy Romance tomorrow (the post will be live on Saturday at 7pm, AEST) and we’re giving away an ebook copy of Too Pretty. You can check out our interview at the following link.

http://www.inspyromance.com/interview-with-aussie-author-andrea-grigg-and-giveaway/

2013 CALEB Conference Highlights and Christian Publishing in Australia

The 2013 CALEB Conference was held in Brisbane, Australia, on Friday and Saturday last week. The CALEB Conference is a Christian writing conference organised by Omega Writers Inc, an organisation dedicated to supporting Christian writers in Australia, New Zealand and other parts of Australasia. Christian writing conferences are a rare occurrence in my part of the world, and we were blessed to have three Christian publishers in attendance this year.

I was unable to attend the Friday sessions due to family commitments. I stayed with family in Brisbane and experienced an early taste of summer with mid-30 degrees celsius temperatures.

Dotti Cat Narelle

Dorothy Adamek, Catherine Hudson, me.

A conference highlight for me was meeting my online friends in person. The fourth annual CALEB Awards Dinner was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with my Aust/NZ writing friends. It was great to see my Aussie writing friend Dorothy Adamek, who also travelled to ACFW in Indy last month, and meet my NZ friends Catherine Hudson and Iola Goulton in person for the first time. I sat next to Rose Dee at the dinner and cheered for her when her Aussie contemporary romance book, A New Resolution, won the CALEB Award for Fiction.

Dotti Cat Rose Narelle

Dorothy Adamek, Catherine Hudson, Rose Dee, me.

A number of my group blog friends from Australasian Christian Writers (ACW) and International Christian Fiction Writers attended the conference. ACW blogger Carol Preston won the CALEB Booksellers’ Choice Award for her Australian historical novel, Tangled Secrets.

ACW bloggers

ACW group, Left to Right: Catherine Hudson, Rose Dee, Kerry-Lee Harney, Narelle Atkins, Jo-Anne Berthelsen, Anne Hamilton, Jenny O’Hagan, Iola Goulton, Ray Hawkins, Mary Hawkins, Dorothy Adamek.

Romancing the Story

I participated on two panels at the conference. The first panel was ‘Romancing the Story’ with romance authors Mary Hawkins and Andrea Grigg. We talked about our writing journeys and encouraged participants to ask questions. Mary has mentored both Andrea and I, and we have appreciated her wisdom and guidance.

We talked about the faith element in a romance, ranging from a story written from a Christian worldview to a more prominent spiritual story arc. Writers need to show the character’s faith journey and not ‘preach’ their Christian message to the reader. We discussed genre expectations for Christian/inspirational romance and romance reader expectations.

The cultural differences between Aust/NZ and other parts of the world give our stories a unique flavour. We looked at the differences between the smaller Aust/NZ market and the larger international market based in North America. We also talked about a recent Australian article that questioned the value of Christian romance, and whether or not the issues brought up by the author had any merit or Biblical foundation.

Making the Most of Social Media

The second panel I participated on was ‘Making the Most of Social Media’ with YA author Michelle Dennis Evans. Michelle’s first indie book, Spiralling Out of Control, releases this week and we discussed how social media can be used to launch and promote books. Websites, personal blogs, group blogs, blog alliance book tours, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram were  platforms we discussed during the session.

Michelle talked about the importance of remembering that social media is ‘social’, not ‘spam’ or ‘business’ media. She discussed the value of being strategic and using the platforms that will connect authors with their target audience.

I talked about my experiences with group blogs Australasian Christian Writers and International Christian Fiction Writers. explained how blog alliance book tours worked using the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance as an example.

Social media is a great way for authors to interact with readers, but authors need to know and follow the etiquette for each platform. We talked about the importance of balance. Writers need to be writing their books and not spending their writing time on social media. Social media has different uses and applications depending on the stage of your writing journey.

Christian Publishing in Australia

A conference highlight was the ‘Publishing Today’ panel with Rochelle Manners, George Bryant, and Julie Firmstone.

Rochelle Manners is the publisher of imprints Even Before Publishing (fiction and non-fiction) and Wombat Books (children) in Australia. Rochelle is a big supporter of Aust/NZ Christian writers and books. She is a traditional publisher of print and ebooks in both the Christian market and general market (Wombat Books). She is looking to expand further into the international market and a couple of EBP titles will soon be translated into Korean. Rochelle is the founder of Light the Dark online book store and Australian Christian Book Club.

George Bryant is the publisher of Daystar Books in New Zealand. Daystar Books is a non-profit subsidy publisher that strives to publish quality books that have not been picked up by a traditional publisher. Daystar shares the costs of producing the book with the author.

George and I have discussed my attempt to define where his unique publishing model may fit in my recent Australasian Christian Writers blog post on publishing models. For those interested, more information on the details of the post and conversation can be found at the following blog link and on the blog post link in the Australasian Christian Writers Facebook Group. http://australasianchristianwriters.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/publishing-models-part-1.html

Julie Firmstone is from Christian Education Publications (CEP), a traditional publisher in Australia. CEP is part of Youth Works Media and is a non-profit ministry organisation that publishes a number of imprints including Growing Faith, Aquila Press, Youthworks Press, Fervr, Blue Bottle Books and Anglican Press Australia. CEP provide syllabuses for Scripture in Schools and their books focus on children, youth, families and Christian living. They don’t publish biographies. CEP are education suppliers and have trade distribution in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. They will soon be distributing books in the USA.

Rochelle and Julie talked about the struggles and challenges traditional Christian publishers in Australia need to overcome to survive and stay in business. A number of Australian Christian small presses have folded in recent years. Rochelle encouraged us to support Aust/NZ authors by purchasing books from Aust/NZ booksellers. The Australian Christian book market is small and many authors are making money from speaking engagements.

Traditional publishers take on all the financial risk when they acquire a book, and it helps if authors have a platform and the ability to hand sell books to their target market. Julie used the example of it being difficult for an author of Bible Commentaries to sell books unless they are a pastor and have theological credentials. Julie said an 80,000 word Christian living title will typically need 100 hours of editing and 40-60 hours of design time.

George is happy to talk with authors about how they can negotiate a unique publishing path. He’s looking for books that inspire, give hope and also books with Christian content that can be marketed to the general market. Daystar Books do not have a goal of making money for the organisation from the books they publish. George wants to partner with authors to help the author make a profit from their financial investment in publishing the book.

Marketing is important and a web presence, blogging and social media will help authors build their platforms and sell books. Rochelle does a lot of marketing with her authors and works hard to help them promote and sell books.

All three publishers will accept unsolicited manuscripts. Please read the submission guidelines on their websites for more information and to ensure manuscripts are suitable for the targeted imprint.

Rochelle receives a large number of submissions each year and occasionally closes to submissions in order to catch up on the back log. Rochelle asked that writers respect the fact that publishers are busy people with a large work load. She wants writers to read the submission guidelines on the website so they know when they can expect to hear a response. Writers are encouraged to follow up their submissions via email if they don’t receive a response within the time frame specified in the submission guidelines.