Friday, 18 May 2018

Are You A Ready Writer?

by Carolyn Miller @CarolynMAuthor

Recently I was reading through Psalm 45 when I noticed the last phrase of verse 1:
“My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (NKJV)

A ready writer. 

Those last three words might vary from my particular version – perhaps your Bible says a ‘skilful writer’ or something similar, but the ‘ready’ aspect really struck me, with its sense of preparedness, of letting nothing slip. Matthew Henry’s commentary says of this particular psalm “The song was a confession with the mouth of faith in the heart concerning Christ and his church…of that Spirit of prophecy that dictated the psalm to David, that Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets.”

The poets in biblical times had to be prepared, ready for when a moody king (ahem, Saul) might want a song or a poem outlining their greatness, or when a more God-focused king might want a faith-building reminder of God’s accomplishments in the past. I imagine that much of their time would have been spent in contemplating such things, spending time in prayer and God’s presence to hear His heart, spending time in ancient manuscripts to remind themselves of the past, and then carefully crafting their words to best reflect God’s truth for today. All of these elements would have served to build within a plethora of praiseworthy phrases and words ready for when the king might need a song of encouragement and demand something immediately – with threats of imprisonment (or worse!) should such a request not be fulfilled.

Chances are we won’t be required to produce a psalm-like hymn to an insecure authority figure in our life (or maybe we will…), but I like to think that we are ready writers in the sense of being prepared, of knowing our subject matter to a degree that means our words can flow rather than be stilted and halting, that we can trust God and the leading of the Holy Spirit as we begin our times of writing in prayer.

So how can we be a ready writer?

·      Being a ready writer might mean taking care to record those snippets of dialogue that come to us in the middle of the night, necessitating pen and paper by the bed, or a smartphone or voice recorder that can record those phrases of gold that tumble from our mouths as a song inspires us to find exactly the right words as we drive or we’re on a walk.

·      Being a ready writer might mean taking this writing journey seriously so we carve out space in our houses so we can easily create, rather than treating our writing as an afterthought, hidden under layers of papers and bills and the stress of modern life.

·      Being a ready writer might mean committing time each week to doing exactly that: writing, even without a deadline approaching.

·      Being a ready writer might mean preparing to invest in quality resources and materials, and attending writer’s conferences and online writing seminars.

·      Being a ready writer is about allowing God to speak to us, taking time to hear His voice, so our words can be moulded by the King of King for His use.

I’m trying to be a ready writer, and I’m sure you are, too.

What are your tips for being a ready writer?

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. 
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, and Winning Miss Winthrop, all available from Amazon, Book Depository, Koorong, etc

Connect with her:        website | facebook | pinterest | twitter | instagram

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Book Review: All Roads Lead Home by Darlene Franklin

Jenny Blake | @ausjenny

All Roads Lead Home
Darlene Franklin


One day Graceanne Willis was enjoying a softball game between the Waynoka Harvey Girls team and a team made of train engineers from the same depot.

Then Charles Lindberg landed on the playing field and announced his plans make Waynoka the hub of the first ever transcontinental transport service by air-and-train. Graceanne’s beau Peter is offered a job with the fledgling air transport

Does Graceanne trust God—and Peter--enough to let go? The two of them embark on a cross country journey to discover whether their paths will merge, or head in separate directions.

My Review:

Firstly Thanks to the author for my review copy.

This is a nice novella about the Harvey Girls. I didn't really know much about the Harvey Girls. I had vaguely heard of them but didn't know much more and what I thought I knew was wrong. The Harvey Girls work in restaurants along the railway and have strict rules. 

In this book we Graceanne and Peter playing softball when a plane lands and it's none other than Charles Lindberg. He is looking at building a new airfield and transport hub. Peter is offered a job but isn't sure if he should take it as it may mean losing Graceland. 

I do enjoy Darlene's books and this book didn't disappointed. As well as learning about the Harvey Girls and some of the network, I learnt more about Charles Lindberg. I found I wanted to know what would happen and would love to read more books about the Harvey Girls. 

Good Read. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Tuesday Book Chat | 15th May 2018 | Narelle Atkins

Narelle here. Welcome to our ACW Tuesday Book Chat where we encourage book lovers to answer our bookish question of the week. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Please join in the conversation in a comment on this post or in a comment on the blog post shared in our Australasian Christian Writers Facebook Group.  

Let's chat. Do you enter book giveaways?

Monday, 14 May 2018

May 2018 New Releases

Jenny Blake | @ausjenny

Solo Tu: Only You (A Tuscan Legacy Book 7) by Narelle Atkins (Independent, May 29 2018)

Home means everything to Sienna Rossi.

Four years ago, Sienna defied her father by moving to Australia to obtain her teaching qualifications. Her grand plan is shaken by her father's unexpected death and a trip back to Tuscany for her grandmother's eightieth birthday where she renews her close bond with her sister, Alessa.

Teacher Dave Maxwell likes the freedom of his nomadic lifestyle. He works contract-to-contract, moving to different high schools around Australia. He's in Sydney for a season, caring for his grandma while his aunt is on an extended overseas vacation.

Back in Sydney, Sienna moves in with her Aussie cousins and starts her first teaching job, torn between her dream for a future in Australia and her longing for home. Sienna and Dave work at the same school, attend the same church, and quickly become friends. They are drawn together by circumstances and an undeniable attraction.

But their idyllic time together is temporary. Can the girl from Tuscany and the boy from Australia risk everything for love?

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book 8 in the series, Dolce Vita!

Solo Tu is available for pre-order for 99 cents (US): Amazon link

Faithful by Carol Ashby (Cerrillo Press, May 28 2018) 

Is the price of true friendship ever too high?

In AD 122, Adela, the fiery daughter of a Germanic chieftain, is kidnapped and taken across the Roman frontier to be sold as a slave. When horse-trader Otto wins her while gambling with her kidnappers, he entrusts her to his friend and trading partner, Galen. Then Otto is kidnapped by the same men, and Galen must track them half way across the Empire before his best friend loses a fight to the death in a Roman arena.

Adela joins Galen in the chase, hungry for vengeance. As the perilous journey deepens their friendship, will the kind, faithful man open her eyes to a life she never dreamed she’d want?

A trip to the heart of the Empire poses mortal danger to a man who follows Jesus, especially when Galen must seek the help of an enemy of the faith for Otto to survive. Tiberius hunted Christians when he governed Germania Superior and banished his own son when he became one.

When Tiberius learns sparing Galen offers a chance at reconciliation with his son, he joins the trio on their journey home. Can his life-long hatred for the followers of Jesus survive a trip with the Christian man whose courage and faithfulness demand his respect?


Deadly Misconduct by R J Amos (independent release, May 1 2018) 

Research to die for?
Alicia is determined to return to academia after time off to care for her sick mother.  An unlikely conference in sleepy Hobart town throws her into the path of Professor Conneally, who offers her a dream job in Cambridge.
It seems the universe is on her side – until the professor drops dead at the conference dinner. Alicia's convinced it's no accident, but no one will believe her. Can she find the culprit before the conference is over? Or will she lose all her friends, and the opportunity of a lifetime?
Pull on your slippers, get cosy in your favourite chair, and spend an hour or two solving the mystery in beautiful Tasmania.

Amazon link

My Year of Saying No by Ruth Amos (independent release/ May 7 2018) 

Are you feeling overwhelmed? 
Struggling with a life that is full and overflowing? 
Harassed with overlapping appointments and unachievable schedules? 
Do you wish you could simplify your life?
Ruth Amos shares her journey through a year where she learned about saying no, saying yes, and bringing some balance and joy back into her overfull existence. She hopes that you will also find peace through lessons she has learned, such as:
    • How to create a time budget and know what to put in and what to leave out.
    • When it is right to say no to a worthwhile activity, and when it is better to say yes to something
    • How to tell if you’re just being lazy, when to push yourself, and when it is better to rest.