ACRBA Blog Tour The Songs of Jesse Adams by Peter McKinnon

 16 – 20 November 2014

is introducing

 The Songs of Jesse Adams

Acorn Press

By

Peter McKinnon

 

About the Book

Set in the turmoil of social change and political unrest of Australia during the 1960s, The Songs of Jesse Adams traces the meteoric rise of a boy from the bush – a farmer’s son who breaks away to follow his heart, his dreams and his love of music. But, as Jesse travels with his band and the crowds gather, it becomes clear that something else is afoot. This rock singer captivates and transforms a host of fans who hear his songs and encounter his touch.

Lives are changed in unexpected ways and the enigmatic Jesse becomes a symbol of hope and freedom for those on society’s edge. But not all will celebrate the rising tide of influence of this charismatic figure whose words and actions challenge those in power – the media, the politicians, the church. In one tumultuous week this clash of ideals comes to a head – with profound consequences.

Awash in all the protest and collapse of conservative Australia, the colour and madness that was the sixties, The Songs of Jesse Adams is a tale of conflict, betrayal and tragedy, but ultimately the triumph of love.

*Warning this book contains some language that some readers may find offensive*

About the Author

For seventeen years, Peter McKinnon held senior roles in some of Australia’s largest corporations, with a focus on human behaviour and organisational effectiveness. This culminated in his appointment in 1999 as Executive General Manager, People & Culture, of Australia’s then largest financial organisation, National Australia Bank.

In late 2006, Peter was approached to head up the global human resources function of  World Vision International(WVI), based in Los Angeles. WVI is the world’s largest humanitarian aid organisation, with over 40,000 employees in 100 different countries and countless volunteers working in highly diverse and challenging settings.

When he returned to Australia in late 2009, he committed to pursuing his creative interests more directly and began to write. ‘The Songs of Jesse Adams’ is the result.

Peter has been published in publications as wide-ranging as the ‘Age’, ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly’ and ‘4 x 4‘ magazine and regards winning a Pacific cruise for his writing as his crowning achievement in this field ! He has also written and produced several musicals.

Peter is a qualified psychologist, has studied theology, worked briefly as a minister and served on the Council of the MCD University of Divinity.

He lives in Melbourne with his wife Julie. This is his first book.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Narelle: The Songs of Jesse Adams is different to the books I usually read. It’s a fictional story with Christian content that’s written for a general market audience. The story touches on confronting social issues that will probably offend conservative Christian readers. It has edgy content that doesn’t just prick the so-called ‘Christian bubble’, but blows it apart with dynamite. The book contains strong language that isn’t usually found in the typical Christian fiction book. If you’re offended by reading bad language and blasphemy, this book probably isn’t for you.

I really liked the story premise. The Songs of Jesse Adams is an allegory of the gospel story, set in Australia in the late 1960’s. If Jesus had lived during this time in history, what would he be doing? Who would he be hanging around? More importantly, who would he offend with his message of love? We follow the character of Jesse Adams, a country boy who forms a band and becomes a well known singer. A charismatic man who draws a crowd and inspires people to follow him.

If you know the gospel story, you’ll follow the basic plot and discover which characters are inspired by specific Biblical characters. The story has a strong, authentic Australian flavour and includes many colloquial expressions that were common in the 1960’s. For example, nong (idiot), cocky (farmer), grog (liquor), yarns (stories), loos and dunnies (toilets), and chinwag (chat).

One reason this story is different to my usual choice of reading material is my personal preference for fiction written from a purist point of view. The Songs of Jesse Adams is written from multiple viewpoints, including omniscient (narrator) viewpoint, and there is head hopping within scenes and paragraphs. I can understand why the author has chosen to use multiple viewpoints. It stylistically fits the allegory and the original Biblical narrative story format. The reactions of the people who encounter Jesse are an important aspect of the story.

At times I found the first half of the story difficult to follow because we were introduced to a large cast of characters. I like to become absorbed in a character’s viewpoint, get to know them and become invested in their story journey. It’s harder to do this when we’re moving between a number of character’s heads in a short space of time. I did re-read a few sections to get a handle on what was happening and which characters were involved. Once I passed the half way mark, it became much easier to read and follow each of the main characters. I suspect I’m more sensitive to head hopping than the typical reader, and others may not even notice the viewpoint changes.

I recommend The Songs of Jesse Adams to readers who are looking for gritty, real-to-life fiction that isn’t sugar-coated and challenges their thinking on contemporary social issues.

I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher.

ACRBA blog tour Her Tycoon Hero by Narelle Atkins

3 – 7 November 2014

is introducing

Her Tycoon Hero

Heartsong Presents

By

About the Book

Cassie Beaumont Believes in Second Chances

Set on proving to everyone that she’s no longer a party girl, Cassie is focused on her career as an event planner. But her dad’s top executive, Ryan Mitchell, proves to be a handsome distraction. Especially when someone from Cassie’s wild past tries to get her tangled in the life she’s worked hard to escape.

Ryan is taken with his boss’s beautiful daughter. But having been fooled by a brother who ran in her same circles, he is slow to trust. When Cassie’s newfound faith works its way into his heart, Ryan soon finds he wants to claim both her faith and Cassie as his own.

About the Author

NARELLE ATKINS writes contemporary inspirational romance and lives in Canberra, Australia. She sold her debut novel, set in Australia, to Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line in a six-book contract. She is also a member of International Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers group blogs.

http://internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com
http://australasianchristianwriters.blogspot.com

Narelle is a co-founder with Jenny Blake of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA). http://acrba.blogspot.com

Her debut book, Falling for the Farmer, was a February 2014 release, followed by The Nurse’s Perfect Match in May 2014 and The Doctor’s Return in August 2014.

Website: http://www.narelleatkins.com

Blog: https://narelleatkins.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NarelleAtkinsAuthor

Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkinshttps://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins

ACRBA Tour: Can God See Me? by Penny Reeve

18 – 22 November

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

is introducing

Can God See Me?

Wombat Books Oct 2013

By

Penny Reeve

About the Book

I read in the Bible, so it must be true, God can see everything that I do. But what might this look like? And how far does God’s care reach? Join the wild, hilarious and certainly crazy ride of a young boy who dares to imagine the incredible scope of God’s love and care.

About the Author

Penny Reeve grew up as the child of missionary parents in a variety of cross cultural settings. She then went to university, got married and served for several years herself in PNG and Nepal.

She now lives with her family in Western Sydney and is the author of 11 children’s books including the very popular Find the Animal series for young children and the social-justice themed Tania Abbey novels.

Website: http://www.pennyreeve.com/

ACRBA Tour Faith in the Great Southland by Mary Hawkins

4 – 8 November

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

Introducing

Faith in the Great Southland  

(Barbour Books October 1, 2012)

By 

Mary Hawkins

About the Book

Elizabeth Waverly never dreamed that taking a convict transport back to her home in Australia would change her life. But from the moment she lays eyes on John Martin, she cannot resist her growing attraction to him. She knows the man faces a life sentence for murder, but her heart refuses to believe he is guilty of the charges against him. How could someone who so valiantly protects others and accepts another prisoner’s punishment be a brutal felon? Yet once the transport ship lands in Australia, their paths are bound to head in very different directions. Is their love destined to become a bittersweet memory of what might have been, or will faith show them another way?

About the Author

Mary is a multi-published Australian romance author with 19 titles. After being published by Harlequin Mills and Boon medicals, Heartsong Presents and Barbour, her most recent single title Bargagula series is published by Ark House Press in Sydney. I am a member of the Society Women Writers Tasmania, Romance Writers of Australia, Omega Writers, Australian Christian Writers Fellowship, American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers America and their Faith Hope Love chapter. My Heartsong Presents back list titles are being released by Truly Yours Digital Editions. Faith in the Great Southland is now available with the other 3 in this series to be released June and July. She is available to speak and share what she has  learnt about writing novels, her writing journey and faith in our incredible God. For more about Mary, go to her website.

ACRBA Tour Joy by Kirrily Lowe


acrba

21 – 25 October

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

Introducing

Joy

(Wombat Books August 2010)

By

Kirrily Lowe

www.theinvisibletree.com.au

About the Book:

“I’ve lost my joy where could it be?”
Come with our little girl on a search to find her “Joy”. Is it under the apple tree, is it out to sea, or is it in something that we cannot see? A message for little ones and big ones – where do we go to find joy when we have lost it.

About the Author:

Kirrily Lowe is the author of The Invisible Tree series of children’s books – a delightful and fun series seeking to capture great and timeless values for little ones.

Kirrily began her career as a lawyer working with children in Sydney’s Western Suburbs.

She is now the pastor together with her husband Tim of C3 City Campus – a dynamic and creative congregation in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

Kirrily began writing in 2010 whilst at home with her young children.

Kirrily lives in the northern suburbs of Sydney with Tim and her 3 young and lively boys.

Narelle: Joy is the second book in the Invisible Tree series. BelBel has lost her joy and she is searching everywhere to find it again. The story has a lovely message that our joy comes from God’s love for us. I liked the ‘Invisible Tree’ analogy and thought it was an interesting way to explain to younger children how God’s spirit can live inside us.

The illustrations are eye catching and the text is presented as if the words and phrases were cut out of magazines or newspapers and pasted on the page. The result is colourful and could help children identify key words in the sentences. I recommend this book to parents and carers who are looking for a fun and educational book to read with their Preschoolers.

Many thanks to Wombat Books for providing a review copy.

ACRBA Tour The Inheritance by Jo-Anne Berthelsen

7 – 11 October

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

Introducing

The Inheritance

  

(Even Before Publishing September 2013)

By 

Jo-Anne Berthelsen

About the Book:

Michael Trevelyan is determined to claim his inheritance at all costs. Bitterness consumes him and he refuses to forgive those who have betrayed him. Yet, when he meets Alexandra Hope, things begin to change. She challenges his views but also listens while he shares his pain. Can Michael move on from the past and learn to forgive? Can Alexandra hold onto her faith in God as she deals with their deepening relationship? Can they both learn to trust each other – and God? The Inheritance is a stirring story of family secrets, forgiveness and faith – of leaving behind a dark, painful legacy and walking into the light of God’s eternal inheritance. 

About the Author:

Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne loves communicating through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of five published novels – Heléna, All the Days of My Life, Laura, Jenna and Heléna’s Legacy, with a sixth, The Inheritance, due for release in 2013. Her first non-fiction work Soul Friend: The story of a shared spiritual journey was released in October 2012. Jo-Anne loves music, reading, mentoring younger women, and sharing with community groups about writing. She is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. 
For more information, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com or www.soulfriend.com.au.

ACRBA tour: What would Jesus drive? (Car Park Parables series) by Paul Clark and Graham Preston

 

September 16 – 20

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

Introducing 

What would Jesus drive? (Car Park Parables series)

(Even Before Publishing March 2012)

by

Paul Clark, illustrated by Graham Preston

 

About the Author:

 
Paul Clark is married with two kids. He has nearly 20 years experience in children’s and youth ministry having worked in both the city and rural areas. Paul has a knack of sharing the gospel message, simply and profoundly through story – something he is very passionate about. With 10 titles to his name, and more on the way, his resources are down to earth, Australian, and to be watched!
 

About the Book:



It is Palm Sunday in the Church Car Park and Jesus is riding into Jerusalem. The only problem is deciding what Jesus would have driven into Jerusalem if there had been cars in his time. Was it a motorbike because Jesus was a rebel? Was it a truck so he could stand on the back and teach the crowd? Was it a bus because he was a man of the people and he could have brought his friends along? Find out what the cars think! Part of the Australian Car Park Parables series.

Narelle: What would Jesus drive? is an engaging story that poses an interesting question. It’s Palm Sunday and the cars in the church car park are taking turns guessing what type of car Jesus would have chosen to drive into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday if cars had existed back then. Each car comes up with a different answer, providing insightful reasons behind their choices that are both humourous and reveal Jesus’ character. When the true answer is revealed, the cars learn more about the significance of Jesus’ role in the Easter story.

I love the Australian flavour in the story. The illustrations are cute and the text is easy to read. I recommend this book to parents and carers looking for a relevant and informative story that explains Biblical truth in a fun and light hearted way for primary school age children.

Many thanks to Even Before Publishing for providing a review copy.