Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Release & Book Giveaway: A New Resolution by Rose Dee

Hi Folks!

Rose Dee's latest contemporary romance, A New Resolution, released earlier this month.   This is the third and final book in the Resolution Series. The first book of the series, Back to Resolution, was recently awarded the Bookseller's Choice at the 2012 Caleb Awards.

Take a look at the cool cover and read the blurb:


Resolution Island is a safe haven for Anika Deumer. A chance to fulfill 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, 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 Hollingsworth is on a mission. He needs to fulfill his mother's last wish and change his life. Dropping anchor in the idyllic Resolution harbour, 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.



Rose has kindly offered a signed copy to one of our readers. To enter the draw, please complete the entry form below (don't forget to submit the form first, or your entry won't go in!). See our policies page for further conditions.

 Entries close 12pm Tuesday 4th December 2012, Australian Eastern Standard Time.



Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review: A New Resolution by Rose Dee

A New Resolution by Rose Dee
Even Before Publishing, 01 November 2012
Resolution Island is a safe haven for Anika Deumer. A chance to fulfill 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, 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 Hollingsworth is on a mission. He needs to fulfill his mother's last wish and change his life. Dropping anchor in the idyllic Resolution harbour, 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 third and final book in the Resolution Island series. In this book we enjoy more of the tropical island setting like we did in the first book, Back to Resolution.  

Ani has had a difficult beginning, but she manages to pull herself together for the sake of her son. She thinks all is going well - a new life and a new job on Resolution Island.  Then her nerves are rattled by two occurrences: a child custody challenge, and the arrival of a charming, rich American, who is exactly the kind of man she despises.

Nate is a loveable and cute character - who can resist a charming man with a yacht? But Ani does her very best to try.

The characters of the earlier books are woven into the story in a subtle way and provide a link between Ani and Nate.  There is an illegal fishing mystery bound up in the story, although it wasn't quite as exciting an intrigue as the mysteries in the previous novels.

Each of the main characters draw on the influence of their Christian family, so they don't undergo an epic, unbelievable conversion.  Their drawing closer to God is very natural - like a logical conclusion - which is great as it does not have a preachy feel.

There's a fair amount of 'telling' in this book, so I didn't get as emotionally involved with the characters as I would have liked.  But overall this is a sweet story with a happy ending, and a nice finish to the Resolution series.

I was provided with a copy of this book for the purpose of review.  I was in no way obliged to write a positive review.

Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday's With Jess: Suspense Fiction

So some of you might have picked up that I'm currently going through a suspense fiction phase. Well, at this point it's not longer a phase but another genre that has taken my heart! What more could a girl want - romance, suspense, action, drama?

However, I cannot do supernatural suspense! It just terrifies me and I end up going nuts with my over active imagination. I once tried reading Erin Healy's Never Let You Go and had to stop because I was so scared! Good writer though to evoke such terror in me - whether that was her intention or not!

I'm loving Dee Henderson right now, Irene Hannon is great and I'm slowly exploring other authors in this area. Feel free to suggest any good authors you've come across and let me know!

Don't worry though, my first love will still be Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction, followed very closely by Historical Fiction and my love of cowboys in any century will forever continue!


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hot Book Covers: Claudia the Wife of Pontious Pilate By Diana Willis Taylor

I really love the blue dress in this cover. It really contrasts beautifully to all the sandstone colours. The red writing communicates dramatically who this book is about.  Altogether a strong, eye catching cover!

What to you guys think? If you saw this in the bookstore, would you want to read it?








Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursdays With Helen: Trying to Regroup for Nanowrimo

I was going great guns with Nanowrimo.  I'd written 22K in the first 16 days.  And then I ground to a halt.

A couple of reasons:

Firstly, I realised I'd hit a point in the story where I was able to reuse many scenes from my original draft.  Which, is a Nanowrimo no-no.  Admittedly I had to make changes to the scenes, including transforming them from third person to first, but still, they are previously written work.  

Regardless of this, I faced another dilemma with transplanting scenes - I wasn't sure if this was a good thing or not.  I was re-writting for a reason, right? Perhaps I'd lost my way? I needed to take a few days out to get some distance from my writing and review my plotting and character motivation notes.

The second reason was that during this "time-out" my computer got a nasty little virus.  I've spent the last several days painfully running cleaning scripts, and at the same time I had to do a couple of reformats of another computer.  

It's been 6 days since I've written anything.

My goal for Nanowrimo was to do 500-1000 words per day, which equates to 15000-30000 words for the month of November.  So technically I already achieved my minimum.  But why settle for minimum, when I could strive for maximum?

I have 8 days to get in 8000 words.  Can I get my head back in the game and reach 30000?

I'm going to try!

Hope everyone else is hanging in there and I'm looking forward to seeing friends hit their goals :)

Oh and ... Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends!


Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Review: The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter

 The Trouble With Cowboys by Denise Hunter

Thomas Nelson, October 2, 2012

Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column—and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie’s never been in love.

Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters.Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can’t risk getting hurt now.

The more Annie tries to control things, the more they fall apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister’s antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.

When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn’t know what to trust—her head or her heart. The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs.

I've been waiting for ages for the latest Denise Hunter book to be released and then have to wait for it to arrive on our Aussie shores - it's been a while and I've been needing my Denise Hunter romance fix all year. I got it with the final installment of the Big Sky Romance Series.

So the trouble for Annie is that Dylan's a cowboy and for Annie that's a big fat no-no. Trouble is they have chemistry and Dylan won't stop flirting with her and Annie likes it - it just takes her forever to figure it out and then admit it!

The romantic tension between these two characters is great; their chemistry just bounces off the walls. I kinda fell in love with Dylan's dimpled grin myself for a little while. Watching him fall for Annie without realizing it was a real treat too. Watching Annie struggle with her attraction was kinda of fascinating - she knew what he was (a cowboy) but not WHO he was and her conflicting emotions was really well played out.

My only qualm with the book is the circumstances ultimately keeping them from finding true happiness was not as compelling as I would have liked. In short the problem was not big enough or impossible enough to overcome. They did overcome it - this is a romance people - and I'm glad they did; it just wasn't as hard as I thought it should be! Don't worry though, I was rooting for them all the same. Who couldn't have after meeting Dylan?

I'm sad to see the end of this series as I really enjoyed Montana and Moose Creek and the people I met there.

It'll be a long wait for Ms Hunter's next book that's for sure!


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings. She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday's With Jess: Still NaNoWrimoing...


The productivity level of my NaNoWriMo-ing has continued...just. I have decided that November is a crazy time for me to try this as November in our family is usually VERY busy! This one has been busier than normal with two weddings (in which my hubby is a groomsmen), lots of evening gatherings (late nights) and just about every weekend taken up with something and it's not even December yet!

However, I plough on with trying for 500 words per day (at least 5 days a week) - these nutty, busy weekends are killing me! I'm happy with how I am progressing and am excited by what I'm seeing take place in my story - all the stuff I'd planned is either being altered or chucked out as I hammer out the story!


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings. She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday's With Jess: Sisters in Christ

I've had a wonderful weekend. I got the chance to catch-up with some great women who are also my sisters in Christ. Three are life-long friends and others are relatively new friends (within the last 1-5 years). We got the chance to laugh together and get "real" with each other, being vulnerable about stuff, sharing our lives.

I really felt that God had his hand on this weekend and really opened the door to deeper communication amongst these fabulous ladies. I feel very blessed by the conversations that happened over the weekend. Though no photos were really taken to commemorate the weekend - I have come away with fabulous memories and a knowledge that when we do life together as Christians right it is so uplifting, encouraging and life-giving! So thanks to all ladies who God put in my path over the last two days! You are all amazing, Godly awesome women and it's a privilege to know you all!

Image Source

Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursdays With Helen: NaNoWriMo - Because I don't know how to stop!

Greetings dear readers and fellow writers!

As you know, I've just finished my editing course and was flat out exhausted by the end of it.  November I had planned as a recovery month.

So naturally, I signed up for NaNoWriMo.

Am I crazy? Yes! No one has ever disputed that fact.

We're just at the end of Day 8 now, and I have to tell you, I'm enjoying it.  And I'm finding the whole process highly motivating and strangely energising.  Please don't tell me that means I'm not doing it right!

If you remember, after my plot epiphany I realised my WIP - which sat at 50 000 words - needed so much work I was contemplating a re-write.  And the whole idea had frozen me into inaction.

After lots of plotting and planning during my course travels, I knew and accepted that a rewrite was required. And that's what I'm doing this NaNoWriMo - re-writing my WIP - and re-writing it in first person, instead of third. A big change for me!

I am not deluded enough to think I can reach 50K words.  I know I have a lot on my plate.  But I'm surprised so far how much writing I am getting in, and if I had a handful of massive writing days, the 50K mark is not so unrealistic afterall.

My goal remains the same however: 500-1000 words per day. Anything more is a bonus.  Ultimately, if I can get this first draft done before Christmas, I'd consider that a massive achievement.  Next year, I'm hoping to be busier with editing - for other people, as well as myself.

Happy NaNoWriMo-ing!

Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Review: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

Available @
Fishpond AU 
& Amazon | Kindle
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House, 01 October 2012

Love and Lives are Threatened in Camden's Latest Offering

As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.

Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.

It crossed the sea and finally arrived on our shores! I've been hanging out for this book ever since I saw the cover and then heard who the book was about! I haven't been this excited about a book release for quite some time.

I'll just start with the cover - gorgeous, gorgeous and more gorgeous! The whole image just captured my attention and was begging for me to pick it up and find out what was inside.

Now to the actual story.We met Bane before in Elizabeth's first book The Lady of Bolton Hill and he's a character that stays with you for a long time. When I found out that Bane was to be the subject of this book I was so excited.We really get to know Bane in this book. Much of the previous time with Bane was seeing him at his worst. This time around we get to see deeper into what drives him but also his sense of humour. His playfulness with Lydia hides not only his deep affection for her but his need to protect himself and her from the sins of his past that will forever (as far as he's concerned) be chasing him.

Lydia is a great asset to Bane. Not only can she translate what he needs, but she is a dreamer and forever looking at the bright side of a situation. Her determination matches Bane's and together they are a force to be reckoned with. It takes these two a little while to figure out they're meant to be together and then to overcome the obstacles keeping them apart. Overall it's a wonderful journey filled with humour, suspense, romance and drama.

A very enjoyable read and oh my that cover!


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday's With Jess: NaNoWriMo Madness

Yep I must be mad I've signed up for NaNoWriMo! Never thought I'd do something like that...ever. However, this might be just the thing to force to me write. What usually happens with me is that I do some writing for a few weeks, then I come across something that stumps me about the story. It might have something to do with character, plot or a bit of research and suddenly I'm sidetracked. I end up becoming obsessed with what has stumped me to the point where I can no longer move forward with my writing.

So NaNoWriMo is just the kick I need to get me going and MAKE sure I push past those aspects of the story that can be fixed later.

My goal is to write at least 500 words per day. Anything more than that I am considering a bonus!

Have you joined in the madness? What's your goals?


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursdays With Helen: I've been up to something ...

Some of you may know I've been rather busy the last two months.  I've been keeping it mostly a secret, but I'm going to let you all in on it now.

When Jess and I started Book Review Sisters, our intentions were to share our love of books, help promote Christian fiction and use the blog to start networking for our writing careers.

But along the way, something else has developed for me.  And I'm convinced this has been part of God's plan the whole time.

A few months ago I started praying about what I should do about working again.  My background is in IT.  But since we've moved to a rural location, the work just isn't available to me.  And in all honesty, I don't want to go back into the industry - even though it's an industry I love.  It isn't the right fit for me at this stage of my life.

So anyway, I was praying and over a few days the same idea kept coming back at me.

Editing.

It wasn't a new idea, actually.  Over the last year and a half of running this blog, quite often I'd joked to Jess that I wanted to be an editor.

Well, I kept hearing 'editing' whispering in my ear.  And I'd found an editing course some time back that I'd wanted to do.  I'd dismissed it as impossible.  It would mean travelling 6 hours each way, every week for 8 weeks.  Just for one class.  Never mind the expenses ... the logistics of that alone ... ludicrous, right?

Not so.  Turns out I had the funds for the actual course.  One hurdle solved.  I trusted God for the rest.  And let me tell you, He provided in so many ways.  From finances, to accommodation and wonderful friends who picked me up from the train, leant me their car, fed me dinners and gave me their encouragement and support.  My mum was amazing looking after the kids - who also handled the disruption very well.

With every class I took, I just knew this was the right fit for me.  Initially I thought that editing was a polar opposite to IT.  But I soon realised that my technical and analytical skills will transpose over to editing very nicely.  I've always been a details kind of person - I'm pedantic about accuracy, I can spot errors at fifty-paces.  In previous work I've spent hours upon hours pouring over thousands of data records, cleaning them up, sorting them, transposing them ... not so different to editing, when you think about it.

Last week I finished my course! Sure the whole exercise was exhausting, and in many ways, the hard work is just starting.  I'm not sure where the work is going to come from, but  I know that God started this, and He will see me through the rest of the way.

I'm very excited about this new phase in my life!  I plan on freelance editing, and will be setting up a website shortly.  More details to come!

Where does this leave my writing plans?  They're still there.  It's a longer term goal - and this move into editing hasn't diminished my desire to write - it's enhanced it.  During the many hours of travelling I've had so much time to think about my story and work through the plot problems.  And many other story ideas have surfaced as well :) Lots to keep me busy for a long time to come!

Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.