Book Recommendation – Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer

Book Description:

An opinionated local-food advocate falls in love with the junk-food-loving reluctant farmer next door.
Love her or hate her, Jo Shaw doesn’t much care. She’s a woman on a mission, joining her best friends in buying a dilapidated farm to prove that growing most of their own food and living sustainably is possible. Too bad she’s a city girl with little knowledge and less tact. She’ll learn – both people and gardening skills – or she’ll know the reason why!

Zachary Nemesek is back in northern Idaho only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless (right?) females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble… but nothing prepares him for Josephine Shaw. Is her war on junk food most shocking, or is it her war on mice? Or maybe, just maybe, it’s that his disdain for her dogged ways turns into reluctant admiration.

But romance? How can the country veterinarian fall in love with a woman who’s more tart than sweet?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading Raspberries and Vinegar. Jo and Zach are fascinating characters who are drawn to each other despite having different life philosophies. Jo and her friends, Claire and Sierra, are intent on ‘practicing what they preach’ by creating a sustainable living farm. Their beliefs regarding sustainable living and decreasing their carbon footprint have a Biblical foundation. The girls are prepared to make sacrifices, including temporarily living in a rundown caravan with an ongoing mice problem, to fulfill their dream of creating a sustainable farm. They also strive to engage the local community in learning about how they can live in a more sustainable way.

Zach enjoys the culture and convenience of city living. He grew up on the farm next door to Jo and the girls, and is he is only back in town  temporarily to help his mother while his father recovers from a serious illness. At the start of the story Zach can’t understand why Jo and her friends are determined to create a new life on the farm.    

Sparks fly whenever Jo and Zach are together, and an adorable pup called Domino creates a lot of mischief in the story. Raspberries and Vinegar is a fun romance that addresses important issues without being preachy. The story is contemporary and touches on issues that are relevant to twenty-somethings in today’s society. Both Jo and Zach experience character growth during the story and the plot twists kept me turning the page to find out what happens next. I highly recommend this book to those looking for an exciting and inspiring contemporary romance.

Interview with Aussie YA fantasy author Lizbeth Klein and book giveaway

Today I’m interviewing Aussie YA fantasy author Lizbeth Klein on the International Christian Fiction Writers blog. We’re giving away a print copy of Lizbeth’s debut novel, Firelight of Heaven (Aussie mailing addresses only).

My interview with Lizbeth Klein can be found at

ACRBA tour: An Unholy Communion by Donna Fletcher Crow

2 – 6 September 2013


An Unholy Communion

Lion Hudson (1 April 2013)


Donna Fletcher Crow

About the Author:

“Donna Fletcher Crow has created her own niche within the genre of clerical mysteries.” – Kate Charles, author of Deep Waters

First light, Ascension morning. From the top of the tower at the College of Transfiguration, voices rise in song.

Felicity’s delight turns to horror when a black-robed body hurtles over the precipice and lands at her feet.

Her fiancé Father Antony recognizes the corpse as Hwyl Pendry, a former student, who has been serving as Deliverance Minister in a Welsh diocese. The police ignore the strange emblem of a double-headed snake clutched in the dead man’s hand, labelling the death a suicide. But Hwyl’s widow is convinced otherwise, and pleads for Felicity and Antony to help her uncover the truth.

Matters grow murkier as Felicity and Antony, leading a youth pilgrimage through rural Wales, encounter the same sinister symbol as they travel. Lurking figures follow them. Then a body is found face-down in a well …

“Donna Fletcher Crow gives us, in three extremely persuasive dimensions, the world that Dan Brown merely sketches.” – Timothy Hallinan, author of The Queen of Patpong

About the Book:

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 40 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. She is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave, A Darkly Hidden Truth and An Unholy Communion as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the literary suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.

To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to:

You can follow her on Facebook at:

Narelle: I enjoyed reading this book. I’ve read Book 1, A Very Private Grave, and it was good to journey with Felicity and Father Antony again. Felicity is an American who studies at an English monastery where Father Antony is a lecturer. This book differs to the typical Christian fiction book because it explores the historic Anglo-Catholic roots and traditions of the Anglican Church in England. The Monastery Murder series have plots that are connected to the early church in Britain, going back as far as the early centuries AD when the saints lived and the Christian faith spread through the known world from Rome.

Antony and Felicity are engaged to be married, and become embroiled in a modern day murder mystery when a dead body falls out of a church bell tower during the Ascension morning service and lands at Felicity’s feet. The man is holding a piece of paper with a distinctive snake emblem on it. Felicity reaches for the paper and it ignites, reducing to ashes for no apparent reason. Antony and Felicity embark on a youth pilgrimmage walking tour through Wales, following in the steps of Saint David. They are accompanied by a quirky group who add colour and flavour to the story. A series of unusual events occur that suggest a supernatural force may be at work. I recommend this book to those interested in reading a supernatural murder mystery that explores early British church history.

Many thanks to Lion Hudson for providing a review copy.

Book giveaway bonanza at Australasian Christian Writers blog launch

I’m excited to be a part of the launch of the new Australasian Christian Writers group blog today. To celebrate our launch week we are giving away up to 16 books including fiction and non-fiction in both print and ebook format.

To join in the celebrations and enter the week long book giveaways from today until Friday 6th September, please visit the blog at

Hope to see you there!

Heartsong Presents: September new releases

My first fiction book with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line, Falling for the Farmer, will be released in February 2014. On the last Tuesday of each month I’m posting information on the new Heartsong Presents releases for the following month.

Harlequin publishes four Heartsong Presents books each month: two contemporary inspirational romances and two historical inspirational romances. They also publish the Love Inspired books, including contemporary romance (Love Inspired), historical romance (Love Inspired Historical) and romantic suspense (Love Inspired Suspense).

International readers outside the USA and Canada can purchase the print books online from Amazon and The Book Depository (free international shipping). If you’re looking for inspirational (Christian) romances to read, please check out the  Heartsong Presents and Love Inspired books.

Love in the Air


He was Nikki Alexander’s first crush—until his stunts in a hot-air-balloon race led to a family tragedy. Then he disappeared, leaving her brokenhearted. Now he’s back and stirring up all her emotions.

Blaming himself for her brother’s death, Kyle stayed away. But now Nikki’s in trouble. And he knows he must step in to make it right. He’ll help save her balloon business…and prove this time he’s here to stay. But first he must win her forgiveness before he can win her heart.

Read a FREE Sample at

A Home in his Heart


So when she inherits her grandmother’s place in the Rio Grande Valley, she settles in for good—until her tall, dark and handsome neighbor offers to buy her out. She tells Marcelo Fuentes she’ll never leave.

Marc offers to buy Kayla’s land because her house is gone. He doesn’t have the heart to tell her she’s living in his storage building. Soon the rancher is falling for the feisty newcomer, and is unprepared for her fury when she learns the truth. How will Marc convince Kayla that the only home she needs is…in his heart?

Read a FREE sample at

Courting Holly


…by her mother’s deathbed confession. Fortunately, there’s one constant in Holly’s life: her best friend, Bryce Jarvis. His strong arms are there to comfort her. And his honey-brown eyes see her as more than the little girl he grew up with….

Bryce has waited for years to court Holly. But when his chance finally comes, Holly faces questions about her very identity. She isn’t sure about anything anymore—even how she feels about Bryce. Can he make her understand that the pure love right in front of her is true and sure?

Read a FREE sample at

Golden Dreams


With hometown champion Frank Sawtelle as her coach, she has a real chance to compete in the world’s foremost skating competition. But her siblings want her helping on the farm—not wasting time on the ice. And as her feelings for Frank turn to love, she wonders if he could ever feel the same.

Still bitter over the injury that shattered his competitive hopes, coaching Winnie resurrects Frank’s career. But as his love for her grows, a romance could jeopardize her success. While he keeps his feelings to himself, he yearns for a future with Winnie…one more precious than gold.

Read a FREE sample at

ACRBA tour: Captured by Calvary by Ray Hawkins

19 – 23 August

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance


Captured by Calvary

(Even Before Publishing Feb 2012)


Ray Hawkins

About the Author:

Ray Hawkins, retired after over 40 years as a Churches of Christ minister, enjoys sharing themes from the Scriptures through Devotional writing. Married to Mary, multi-published inspirational romance author, they have three children and five grandchildren. Ray shares his insights in his first two books on Marriage and Children with more ideas to come about ministry and much more. Living in Beauty Point Tasmania Ray heads up a new Christian Fellowship as well as doing relief preaching, community work and writing.

About the book:

31 Biblical Devotions to meditate on the cross – God’s glory

Be captured by the wisdom, power, grace and wonder of Calvary.

These devotional meditations take you to the heart of the Gospel. They will fill you with awe of God.

They will cause you to bow before the Lord in adoration.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

Captured by Calvary is another excellent devotion book by Ray Hawkins in his 31 Biblical Devotions series. This book illuminates the essence of the Christian faith and gospel message in a way that is easy to understand. It explores the centrality and significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection, refering to verses in both the Old and New Testaments.

Each devotion starts with a key verse, which is discussed with references to other Biblical passages and verses, and has a reflection section at the end. The first devotion looks at creation and the fall of mankind in the context of the cross and God’s promise of a new creation. The devotions consider important theological concepts in the Bible, including Passover, covenants, forgiveness, suffering and glory. Each devotion provides insights into the cross and gospel message, moving all the way through the Bible to the book of Revelation on Day 30. The last devotion on Day 31 challenges the reader to consider their personal cross (Luke 9:23).

I highly recommend this devotion book to those looking to explore the basics of the Christian faith and those who want to gain a greater understanding of the significance of the gospel message.

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

ACRBA tour: Captured by Moonlight by Christine Lindsay

5 – 9 August 

Australian Christian Readers Fiction Alliance

is introducing 

Captured by Moonlight

(WhiteFire Publishing May 15, 2013)


Christine Lindsay

About the Author:

Christine Lindsay writes historical inspirational novels with strong love stories, and she takes pride in her Irish roots. Her great grandfather and grandfather worked as riveters in the Belfast shipyard, one of those ships her ancestors helped build was the Titanic. On her mother’s side it was stories of ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India that seeded Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj and became the stimulus for her Twilight of the British Raj series.

The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home where she lives with her husband, David, and they enjoy the visits from their adult children and grandchildren. Like a lot of authors, Christine’s chief editor is her cat.

About the Book:

Prisoners to their own broken dreams…

After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancé is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him, and to the tiger cub he is raising?

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?

Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I loved reading Captured by Moonlight and enjoyed journeying with a few of the characters from Book 1, Shadowed in Silk. The book can be read as a stand alone story but I recommend reading Shadowed in Silk first to fully appreciate Captured by Moonlight. The beautiful and exotic post-World War 1 setting in India adds colour and flavour to the story.

Laine and Eshana are courageous characters who are prepared to endanger their lives to save others. Adam is a war veteran and successful plantation owner who is tormented by many secrets. He was Laine’s childhood sweetheart and he broke her heart when he called off their engagement during the war.  In the years since the war ended, Laine hasn’t found a man who compares to Adam. Eshana’s Christian faith is challenged when she is punished by a cruel uncle because she refuses to follow the Hindu customs of her caste.

The story deals with a number of big issues from the tumultous early 1920’s in India. Ghandi and other historical figures are mentioned. The cultural backdrop, including characters from various castes and religious backgrounds, adds authenticity and depth to the story.

Captured by Moonlight is an engaging and beautifully paced story. It’s a good story for writers to study if they are looking to understand how subplots intertwine and enhance the main plot in the story. I highly recommend this book to those looking for an exciting and inspiring historical romance.

Many thanks to the author for providing a review copy.


I’m excited to announce I’m launching my author blog here in August.

I currently blog at and I’m shifting my blogging focus to this blog as my debut contemporary inspirational romance book release draws closer.

I signed a six book contract with Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents line. My first book, Falling for the Farmer, will be a February 2014 release in North America.