From the day they were born, Alana and Zac were best friends, until an incident on a school camp causes Alana to push Zac away. Ten years later, Alana returns to her home town of Oakley and runs into Zac again. He is now a famous TV star and super-cute, but can she forgive him for hurting her all those years ago?
People often say to me “I don’t know how you do it”, but the truth is, I’m just really bad at saying ‘no’. The past few month in particular have been really intense. My daughter started school, which has been a whole new experience; my workplace has undergone a reform and I now have a new boss and new staff to manage (plus a workload I can’t delegate just yet); I released a new novel in February; I completed a theological subject at Bible college; and I’ve served on various church rosters, as well as leading a Bible study group.
I had a wake-up call the other day that made me realise how much this ‘busyness of life’ has been pushing God out of my life. Bible reading had become a chore on a Tuesday night to prepare for Wednesday morning Bible study. My prayer life wasn’t much better, with my brain only focusing long enough to ask for my daily wish list and not pausing to reflect on God’s goodness. As a result of not spending time with God, my feelings of guilt and anxiety only increased, but thankfully, God, in his grace, grabbed my attention once again.
In order to improve the health of my relationship with God, I have set a few goals for myself for this year.
Here they are:
- use a Bible reading guide to read through the Bible in one year
- read one Christian book per month and jot down what I’ve learnt, chapter by chapter. This month I’m reading ‘Respectable Sins‘ by Jerry Bridges (highly recommended)
- memorise one Bible verse each month. My verse for this month is ‘So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God’ 1 Corinthians 10:31
Hopefully by spending more time in God’s word, my prayer life will become less about my plans, and more about God’s plans.
I’ll make sure to post updates now and then so you can see how I’m progressing against these goals.
Do you have any personal goals to improve the health of your relationship with God this year?
Synopsis: Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school’s one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher-or the wife of one. Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she’ll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt’s hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, riding a horse, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands. But what other options does she have?
Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once-and he got his heart broken. But there’s something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice. When Tressa’s life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life-and his heart-to help this eastern girl?
A few days ago, I finished reading ‘Ellenvale Gold’ by Amanda Deed. This was the first book I’ve read by Amanda and she has done a wonderful job of creating a story that contained a fabulous Christian romance, along with loads of suspense.
The heroine of the story, Penny, is left to take care of Ellenvale Station, with only a maid and measly funds, following the death of her father in a tragic mine accident. With no knowledge of sheep farming, Penny decides her only hope is to work her father’s gold mine. It is here where she encounters Angus, an ex-convict looking for work. As they spend more and more time together, Angus’ behaviour forces Penny to question her superior view of herself (a legacy of the aristocracy she left behind in England), and her stale relationship with God.
Now enters the villain of the story, Rupert, who will stop at nothing to get Penny’s land and the gold it possesses. Can Angus help Penny realise the truth, or will she fall for Rupert’s lies?
Amanda Deed grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne in a Christian home, and found faith at an early age. She has followed her passion to serve the Lord through music and literature since her teen years. Now married, with three children, Amanda enjoys the variety of being a mother, administrator/book-keeper, musician and fiction writer.
Amanda’s debut novel, The Game, was awarded the 2010 CALEB Prize for fiction.
For more information go to www.amandadeed.com.au.
Thanks, Amanda, for providing me with a copy of your book for review.
From the Back Cover
From the day they were both born, Alana and Zac were best friends – that is, until an incident on a school camp causes Alana to push Zac away and to doubt God.
Ten years later, Alana returns to her home town of Oakley and runs into Zac again. He is now a famous TV star and super-cute, but can she forgive him for hurting her all those years ago?
When I’m writing, I find it useful to scour the internet for images that help me picture the scene in my head. A lot of my stories unfold like a movie in my head before the words hit the screen, and these images help me visualise the story (they are also a good way of procrastinating, but that is a story for another day).
I thought I’d share some of the pictures that inspired me while writing ‘Trust Me Twice’. I saved these images in my one-note creative writing journal, and used them to prompt my imagination as I wrote.
Now that ‘Trust Me Twice’ has been released, I have had some breathing space to think about my next writing projects. This year, it is my aim to release three more books:
- Another book in the Oakley series – following the story of Karen from ‘Trust Me Twice.’ Planning for this book is well underway, and I’ll be posting the synopsis on my blog soon – stay tuned.
- An interactive, online picture book for kids - co-written & illustrated by my husband (see his work here)
- A stand-alone novel - more info to come.
I’ve been thrilled with the response I’ve had so far for ‘Trust Me Twice,’ and I look forward to sharing more of my writing with you.