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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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)


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 [] 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

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:



The Book Depository (free delivery worldwide)

Barnes and Noble

Parable Christian Stores




Deeper Shopping

Australian Christian Book Stores:


USA trip: Hawaii

Last week I shared my highlights from my visit to Multnomah Falls, Oregon. Today we’re leaving the mainland USA, heading west over the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii.

2013-09 September USA trip leaving Portland, arriving Honolulu 003

I caught an early morning flight out of Portland, arriving in Hawaii mid-morning.

2013-09 September USA trip Waikiki, Hawaii 006

I only had a short one night stopover in Hawaii, before another early morning flight home to Australia. I visited Waikiki Beach, and resisted the urge to shop because I’d maxxed out my luggage allowance.

2013-09 September USA trip Waikiki, Hawaii 027

The ocean views from my hotel room were stunning.

2013-09 September USA trip Waikiki, Hawaii 023

I hope to have more time to explore Hawaii the next time I visit.

2013-09 September USA trip sunset Waikiki 004

Next week I’m talking about food, and the two favourite foods I enjoyed during my USA trip. The following week I’m starting a new blog series called “Friday Weekend Escapes”.

USA Trip: Oregon – Multnomah Falls

A few weeks ago I shared my highlights from my visit to Mount Hood, Oregon. Today we’re heading west, down the mountain and back toward Portland. I loved the drive along the Columbia River Highway, looking out over Washington State on the other side of the picturesque  Columbia River.


We pulled off the highway at the stunning Multnomah Falls.


I hiked up the walking trail, stopping to admire and absorb the breathtaking views from the bridge.

2013-09 September USA trip Mt. Hood, Multnomah Falls, Oregon 070

The picture below was taken from the bridge, looking back over the Columbia River and Washington State.


I enjoyed my visit to Oregon, and I’m looking forward to returning in a couple of years to visit with my family. Next week I’ll share more highlights from my trip, including my overnight visit in Hawaii on the way home to Australia.

ACRBA Tour: Imogen’s Chance by Paula Vince

5th – 9th May 2014

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

is introducing

Imogen’s Chance 

(Even Before Publishing, April 2014)


Paula Vince

About the Book:

She has given herself a chance to fix her personal history. But will old mistakes bring up new emotions?

Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter.

A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?

About the Author:

Paula Vince’s youth was brightened by great fiction and she’s on a mission to pay it forward. A wife and homeschooling mother, she loves to highlight the beauty of her own country in her stories. Most of them are set in the lovely Adelaide Hills, where she lives. Paula’s books are a skillful blend of drama and romance. Together with elements of mystery and suspense, you will keep turning pages.

The Nurse’s Perfect Match Official Release Day plus Book Giveaway!

It’s party time!!!

I’m thrilled that my second book, The Nurse’s Perfect Match, officially releases today (May 6) in North America! To celebrate, I’m giving away two print copies (worldwide, wherever The Book Depository delivers) on my blog today.

In-person appearances and media events:

I’m doing a live radio interview today with Jay Jay at 1WayFM (Canberra, Australia) after 1pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, May 6. We’re giving away print copies of Falling for the Farmer and The Nurse’s Perfect Match. You can listen to the program live on the internet at the following link.

On Saturday, May 10, I’m doing a book signing for Falling for the Farmer at Koorong, Fyshwick (Canberra, Australia) from 2pm.


The Nurse’s Perfect Match is the second book in my Snowgum Creek series. Amy, a minor character in Falling for the Farmer, is the heroine in The Nurse’s Perfect Match. The story starts a couple of years after Falling for the Farmer ends.



After her marriage ends in tragedy, Amy returns to Snowgum Creek to rebuild her life. There she meets widower Ben Morton, who’s not looking for romance, though his young children are eager for Amy’s attention. She’s given up on her dream of being a mother, but can’t ignore how she’s drawn to Ben’s little ones, and to their handsome farmer dad.

As love kindles between Ben and Amy, she worries how she’ll ever measure up to the wife he lost. And Ben is concerned about how Amy will ever truly fit into life on the farm. They could be the answer to each other’s prayers—if the secret Amy is keeping doesn’t tear them apart.



The V-8 engine roared to life. Amy Wilkins stood at the side of the road, her shaky hands clutching her purse. The car sped away, dust and gravel spraying into the still night air. She pulled her jacket closer around her chilled body as the rumble of the engine receded.

Her pulse slowed and she sucked in a deep breath, glad she had chosen to wear jeans and comfortable shoes tonight. She trailed her fingertips along her arm. It stung where she had wrenched it out of his rock-solid grip. A two-mile walk home was preferable to his rotten company.

The distant glow of streetlights in Snowgum Creek and the full moon hovering overhead lit her path beside the deserted country road. She kicked a stone out of the way, not caring about the damage to her designer-label leather boot. Back home for four weeks and she’d already found trouble. If only she’d followed her mother’s recommendation for a handyman instead of employing an old school friend.

Tears built in her eyes and she bit her lower lip, refusing to let them flow. She had made a mistake in trusting him, but it wouldn’t happen again. Jed’s charming smile had hidden a dark heart and an arrogance she didn’t remember from their school days. How dare he assume she was desperate for male attention, just because she was a twenty-seven-year-old widow?

The headlights of an approaching car illuminated the isolated road. She dipped her head, hoping the driver would ignore her. The high beams blinded her and she squeezed her eyes shut. Her throat tightened as the light passed, the brakes squeaked and the vehicle slowed. Please, Lord, keep me safe. I don’t need any more problems tonight.

Gravel crunched under the car’s tires and the vehicle swung around, headlights brightening the road ahead. She sighed, her mouth set in a grim line as she turned to face it.

She stepped away from the edge of the road, a flicker of hope igniting in her heart. The people in the car could be concerned citizens who were willing to help her without asking too many questions.

The headlights dimmed and the car crawled to a stop, the passenger window lowered. A young girl rested her head on a pillow in the backseat, her innocent face serene as she slept.

Amy took a few hesitant steps forward and crouched to look inside the car. A younger boy slept beside the girl and a familiar pair of chocolate-brown eyes met her gaze from the driver’s seat. Ben Morton.

She swallowed hard, captivated by the warmth emanating from his eyes. Now in his early thirties, his handsome face had matured, and the family resemblance to Luke, her boss and Ben’s younger brother, was more pronounced. She hadn’t spoken to Ben in years, not since she was his younger sister Rachel’s best friend in high school.

His enigmatic eyes narrowed and a frown hovered over his full lips. “Amy, what are you doing out here all alone?”

She bristled at his curt tone, reminded of the times she’d gotten into mischief with Rachel in the apple orchards. “It’s a long story.”

She took a step back, stretching out her tense back muscles.

“Where are you headed?”

She squared her shoulders. “Home.”

“Walking? At this time of night?” He leaned over and opened the passenger door. “No, thanks. I can walk-”

“You look frozen.” His voice softened. “Please get in before my kids catch a cold.”

She slid into the passenger seat, warm air blasting her face from the console. He raised the automatic window and she fumbled with her seat belt, finally securing it and keeping her gaze lowered.

Silence filled the car, broken only by the idling engine and the soft breathing of the children in the back. She inhaled a hint of his aftershave, and her body tensed, aware of his muscular presence only inches away from her. Moonlight through the windshield lit up the interior of the car. How could she explain her current predicament without sounding like an idiot?


Contest terms and conditions:

Please complete the form below to enter the drawing to win one of two print copies of The Nurse’s Perfect Match.

You can receive an extra entry in the drawing by signing up to receive email notifications when my new books release. Current subscribers to my email list will automatically receive an extra entry.

The maximum number of entries per person in the drawing is two. The winners will be announced in a comment on this blog post on Tuesday, May 20.

“Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.”


To receive an extra entry in the drawing, please subscribe to my email list. You will only receive two emails when I have a new book releasing, and your personal information will not be disclosed to anyone or used for any other purposes.  The emails may contain special information and benefits for my email subscribers only.

Good luck in the drawing! More information on my book launch schedule and additional giveaways can be found here.


The Nurse’s Perfect Match online book launch and giveaways

I’m excited to announce that The Nurse’s Perfect Match releases today in ebook format, and on Tuesday, May 6, in print. To celebrate the launch of my second novel, I’m going to be visiting a few blogs and offering print book giveaways (worldwide, to anywhere The Book Depository will deliver).


Next week on Tuesday, May 6, I’ll be giving away two print copies (worldwide) of The Nurse’s Perfect Match right here on my blog. Please stop by on Tuesday to enter the drawing.


My Book Launch Schedule:

April 24: International Christian Fiction Writers (worldwide print giveaway)

April 30: Australasian Christian Writers (worldwide print giveaway)

May 5: Lena Nelson Dooley blog (worldwide print giveaway)

May 6: Radio Interview with Jay Jay at 1WayFM Canberra, Australia, after 1pm

May 7: Robin Lee Hatcher’s blog

May 8: Ausjenny blog (worldwide print giveaway)

May 9: Iola’s Christian Reads (worldwide print giveaway)

May 9: Seriously Write blog

May 10: Falling for the Farmer book signing at Koorong, Fyshwick (Canberra) Australia, from 2pm

May 10: Iola Goulton – Christian Editing Services (marketing – book launch interview)

May 12: Ink Dots blog (worldwide print giveaway)

May12-14 Goodreads Author Q&A on Love Inspired Heartsong Presents Group

May 19: Rose Dee’s blog (worldwide print giveaway)

May 24: Inspy Romance blog (worldwide print book giveaway)

Additional book giveaways:

May 1-31: Goodreads giveaway. One print copy of The Nurse’s Perfect Match (US, CA, UK, AU, NZ)

May: Soul Inspirationz (2 print books giveaway, worldwide)

The lovely Ellie Whyte organises a monthly promotion of the Love Inspired range of books on Soul Inspirationz. The Nurse’s Perfect Match will be included in her May promotion and Rafflecopter giveaway.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the release of The Nurse’s Perfect Match. And, good luck if you enter the book giveaways!

The Single Dad Hero in Romance Novels

Today I’m blogging on the Australasian Christian Writers (ACW) group blog. I’m talking about single dad hero’s in romance novels. The post includes a print giveaway of The Nurse’s Perfect Match, releasing in May. Tomorrow I’m posting my complete book promo schedule here, including book giveaways. The ACW link is below, and I hope to see you there!

Heartsong Presents May New Releases

My second book with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line, The Nurse’s Perfect Match, is officially releasing in print next week on May 6, 2014.

I’ll be giving away 2 print copies (worldwide giveaway) right here on my blog on May 6. Check out my May 1 post (ebook release date) for more information on The Nurse’s Perfect Match online book launch and additional blog giveaways.



After her marriage ends in tragedy, Amy returns to Snowgum Creek to rebuild her life. There she meets widower Ben Morton, who’s not looking for romance, though his young children are eager for Amy’s attention. She’s given up on her dream of being a mother, but can’t ignore how she’s drawn to Ben’s little ones, and to their handsome farmer dad.

As love kindles between Ben and Amy, she worries how she’ll ever measure up to the wife he lost. And Ben is concerned about how Amy will ever truly fit into life on the farm. They could be the answer to each other’s prayers—if the secret Amy is keeping doesn’t tear them apart.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at

Love in the Wind


Now she’s counting on it to bring her closer to the biological father she’s just met. But her chances of winning the regatta—and his approval—are in jeopardy unless she can find a new crewmate. Enter Grady Stone, a perfect fit for Maddie’s crew in more ways than one.

Maddie and Grady grow close as they spend time together on the water. But Maddie, wary of emotional entanglement, guards her heart closely. And Grady’s here only to help Maddie win the race, then he’s off to a new job. The day of the race will test their ability to sail together—and the trueness of their love.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at

Branding the Wranglers Heart


When cattle go missing from the Bar-HB Ranch, the tenacious foreman will stop at nothing to find them. But his boss’s granddaughter, Olivia Hartman, is more than Whit bargained for. Once the victim of Whit’s childhood pranks, Livvy has grown into a feisty beauty.

Livvy can’t forget the way Whit used to tease her. Even worse, he doesn’t think she’s capable of helping in the roundup. She could stay mad at him forever—if he wouldn’t act all sweet toward her. But when he literally rides to her rescue, Livvy starts to wonder whether her old enemy might turn out to be much more than a friend.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at

The Honorable Heir


Catherine, Lady Bisterne, returns to Tuxedo Park cloaked in scandal, the widow of a nobleman who’d loved only her fortune. As she sets out to repair her family’s reputation, another Englishman in her midst is seeking reparations of a different sort. While Lord Tristram Wolfe may suspect that Catherine has stolen the Bisterne jewels, he looks at her in a way her husband never had.

As Tristram’s investigation continues, one thing becomes clear: the only thing Lady Catherine has ever stolen is his heart. But can he convince her to trust another English nobleman…and take a second chance on love?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at