Where have I been?

Hi everyone,

I’ll try not to make this one of those blog posts where I apologise for how long it has been since my last post. Yes, it has been quite a while though, so I thought I’d give you an update on what I’ve been up to of late.

Study – This year I began a Graduate Certificate in Management as part of my career development (for my day job). I am really enjoying the course, although there is a lot of reading, which has meant less time for writing – I’m missing it!

Writing – In between my exams and assignments, I’ve been devoting most Friday nights to writing. ‘Double Pursuit’ is coming along well. I’m in love with the characters and can’t wait to finish so I can share them with you too. It has been a different experience to get inside the head of someone who has lost a husband way too early – I’ve found myself shedding a few tears while writing. I am still aiming to finish the book so it can be out before Christmas. I’m also looking out for some good cover designs that will fit well with the book.

Positive reviews are still coming through for my first two books – ‘Second Chances’ and ‘Trust Me Twice’ – ‘Second Chances’ has almost received 500 reviews!!! I am amazed how God is using my ‘experimental’ book to help people find their way back to him. I could never have imagined this when I first started writing it almost three years ago.

I have a backlog of books that I have read, and now just need to find the time to write reviews for. I will try to get to these over the next few weeks before my next subject starts.

Personal life – I’ve just come through a couple of weeks of illness (cold & flu related) – it’s that time of year in Australia! However, on a positive note, a few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a women’s retreat at my church where we talked about the parable of the seeds that fell on different soils. I was challenged to tend to my soil to make sure I continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus, and to make sure I pull out any weeds that start to grow. It was great to spend a whole day singing praises to God, hearing from God’s word, and talking with godly sisters in Christ. My husband and I have also just started leading and hosting a church bible study group together, which has been fun.

I’m really enjoying the stage of life that my kids are at right now. They ask such perceptive and challenging questions, and they still think that I’m awesome (which feels great when I’m having a low day). It is such a privilege and responsibility to lead these little ones, and I feel so blessed.

Thanks for your ongoing support in my writing journey!
God bless,
Alison

Book Cover Makeover: Second Chances – Take 3

This is the final time I’ll be posting about my book cover. I’ll get back to my normal blogging schedule soon 🙂

Thanks everyone who has shared their opinions and helped me to refine my new book cover. I have taken some of your feedback on board and I’m now presenting two final options – I have set up a poll below so you can vote which one you think would appeal the most to readers, keeping in mind my target audience is Christian teens/young adults.

Here is the synopsis of my book:

Even as a child, Rachel had her whole life mapped out – study teaching, marry the perfect guy, have some kids and be a stay at home mum. With two different guys after her attention, Rachel must make a choice – will she choose rebellious single dad Nate or sensible youth leader Steven?

Meanwhile, Hannah is on top of the world, engaged to be married to the love of her life, until a chance encounter with someone from her past threatens to take away her happiness. Will her relationship survive when the secret she has been keeping for so many years is uncovered?

As these best friends lean on God and each other through different trials, they both experience God’s forgiveness and his provision of second chances.

New cover design #1

Second Chances New V11

And new cover design #2

Second Chances New V14

I’d love if you could pick your favourite in the poll below.

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Book Cover Makeover: Second Chances – Take 2

A few days ago I shared my first attempt at a book cover makeover for my Christian novella, Second Chances. Thanks to everyone who gave their feedback.

What I concluded from this exercise was:

1) The new cover was a hit, but didn’t fully capture what the story is about

2) I should definitely go ahead and change my cover.

So, I’ve been roaming the internet for images and found a picture of Hannah, so she can join Rachel on the front cover of my book. Scroll down to see what I’ve come up with…

Here is the synopsis of my book:

Even as a child, Rachel had her whole life mapped out – study teaching, marry the perfect guy, have some kids and be a stay at home mum. With two different guys after her attention, Rachel must make a choice – will she choose rebellious single dad Nate or sensible youth leader Steven?

Meanwhile, Hannah is on top of the world, engaged to be married to the love of her life, until a chance encounter with someone from her past threatens to take away her happiness. Will her relationship survive when the secret she has been keeping for so many years is uncovered?

As these best friends lean on God and each other through different trials, they both experience God’s forgiveness and his provision of second chances.

Here is the existing cover…

Second Chances - A Novella

Proposed new cover design #1

Second Chances New V4

And proposed new cover design #2

Second Chances New V8

I may still play around with the placement of the words ‘A Christian Novella’, but otherwise I’m really happy with this. Do you think it works?

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Book Cover Makeover: Second Chances

Hi everyone,

For a while I’ve known that the cover for my first book, Second Chances, is not really up to the same quality as professional covers. I also didn’t feel that my book cover gave people a good idea of what they can expect to see inside my book.

I’ve been thinking about re-designing my book cover for several months now, and I’ve been searching stock image sites and pre-made book covers for something that jumps out at me. Given my book is about two young women who are best friends, I was trying to find an image that included two females, except none of them were appropriate (in more ways than one).

Thankfully, this morning I was browsing a website gallery showing book cover designs and I found Rachel, one of the main characters in my book (well, what I imagine she looks like). I quickly purchased the image and made some minor changes in Photoshop … and voila! I now have a new book cover design. I hope my new cover will appeal to a younger audience.

I thought I’d test out my new cover here before I upload it on the e-book publishing sites. Tell me what you think in the comments below…

Here is the synopsis of my book:

Even as a child, Rachel had her whole life mapped out – study teaching, marry the perfect guy, have some kids and be a stay at home mum. With two different guys after her attention, Rachel must make a choice – will she choose rebellious single dad Nate or sensible youth leader Steven?

Meanwhile, Hannah is on top of the world, engaged to be married to the love of her life, until a chance encounter with someone from her past threatens to take away her happiness. Will her relationship survive when the secret she has been keeping for so many years is uncovered?

As these best friends lean on God and each other through different trials, they both experience God’s forgiveness and his provision of second chances.

Here is the existing cover…

Second Chances - A Novella

And here is my proposed new cover design…

Second Chances New V4

I’m still not sure whether to make the change…What do you think?

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12 Weeks until Christmas Sale

Christmas Bauble with textHi everyone!

As you know (or you may still be in denial!), Christmas is coming up in less than 12 weeks. To celebrate, my book ‘Trust Me Twice’ will be on sale for $1.99 until Christmas (note: Amazon price will be updated very soon). If you want to order a paperback copy, this is also on special at $5.99.

So what does my book have to do with Christmas? The main part of the story actually occurs over the Christmas period when Alana Johnston returns to her family home, only to bump into the one guy she’d been trying to forget! You’ll be surprised to see how the story ends.

Trust Me Twice is the perfect gift for young women and teenage girls who need encouragement in their relationship with God.

See what some of my readers are saying:

A great story with believable characters and Biblical principles. Family values, prayer, timing of answers, trusting God, commitment and repentance are all touched on in this book. Donna
* * * * *
 A quick read, Trust Me Twice is suitable for tween girls to read and for anyone who wants to engage in a story showing that God has a time for each of us, but in His own time and His own way. Sherrey
* * * * *

[Click here] to read more and buy a copy.

Spread the word for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card – to enter, please share this post on Facebook, Twitter ,or your blog, and email me at alisonstanleychristianfiction@wordpress.com to go in the draw. I will announce the winner on Christmas Eve at noon (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time).

Thanks to everyone who has supported me since I began my writing journey two years ago. I look forward to sharing my next book with you soon.

God bless!

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Note: background image courtesy of nirots and freedigitalphotos.com.

Pictures that inspired the book ‘Trust Me Twice’

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.

Enjoy!

IMG

View from the top of the beginners’ ski slope – Snowy Mountains, Australia (this photo was taken on my high school ski trip)

Beach outside Alana's Gold Coast apartment

The beach outside Alana’s Gold Coast apartment

The dress Alana wore to her parents' Christmas party (that got Zac's full attention!)

The dress Alana wore to her parents’ Christmas party (that got Zac’s full attention!)

The necklace Alana received from her parents for Christmas

The necklace Alana received from her parents for Christmas

Alana's renovated cottage

Alana’s renovated cottage

The rising floodwaters - Zac's house

The rising floodwaters – Zac’s house

Tim and Hannah's Sydney apartment block (I imagine them in the top left unit)

Tim and Hannah’s Sydney apartment block (I imagine them in the top left unit)

Trust Me Twice – Now Available

Hi everyone,

I am really pleased to say that my new book ‘Trust Me Twice’ is now available to download from Kindle and Smashwords.

Thanks to everyone who has waited patiently for me to finally finish this book. I hope you enjoy it!!

Congratulations to the winners of a free e-copy of ‘Trust Me Twice’:

  • Sherrey Meyer
  • Monique Zimmer
  • Regina Koteras
  • Dawn Metts

An email will be sent to you shortly with download instructions.

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TrustMeTwice12Trust Me Twice – synopsis

From the day they were both born, Alana and Zac were best friends,  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? While stranded alone with him in the middle of a natural disaster, she must decide whether to open her heart and trust Zac, and God, again.

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