Saturday, February 01, 2014

FALLING FOR THE FARMER - Narelle Atkins - One Free Book

I first became acquainted with Narelle on the ACFW email loop. She is friends with some of my other friends in Australia. Then we met in person at the ACFW national conference. What a treat.

Welcome, Narelle. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Lena, that’s a hard question. My characters are all different, with unique personalities and traits. A number of my heroines like coffee, in particular lattes, which happens to be my favorite coffee. My heroine, Kate, in Falling for the Farmer is very different to me. For example, Kate likes running to keep fit. I’ll walk for miles but I don’t like to run.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve ridden a motorbike off-road on a farm, although my gear changing abilities leave a lot to be desired.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. My mother tells the story of how she’d buy colored paper notepads each week from the grocery store when I was two, and I’d fill them with scribbles instead of pictures.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy reading all genres of inspirational romance, and I mainly read Christian fiction. I’m currently reading three books: a contemporary romance, a supernatural thriller, and an autobiography.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Coffee, chocolate, and prayer. I have a regular gym routine that keeps me sane and also gives me time and mental space to think through my stories. I’ve solved many plot problems and other story issues during a cycling class. I’m blessed to have supportive family and friends. My husband is amazing. When I’m on deadline he picks up extra household duties on top of his crazy busy job. My friends understand that I have to say no a lot to social activities in order to stay on top of my deadlines.

Sounds like a good combination to me. How do you choose your characters’ names?
My characters’ often name themselves. When I start exploring their backgrounds, the perfect name will sometimes come to me. I research the popular baby name lists for ideas. I also make sure my hero and heroine’s names start with different letters of the alphabet and have a different sound. 

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Motherhood. Parenting is hard and challenging and rewarding all at the same time. I’m proud of my kids and their achievements. 

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m an Aussie so I’ll pick an Australian animal. I’d like to be a koala because they’re cute and cuddly and everybody loves them.

What is your favorite food?
I love fresh fruit and I could live on fruit salad. My favorite is mangoes. I buy quite a few trays of mangoes each summer and I eat a mango a day when they’re in season.

I love mangoes, but they always made my lips and mouth break out. Then I found out I was allergic to them. So I stay away from them now. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
It took me a long time to learn how to write effective conflict in my stories. My early contest feedback always contained comments on my story lacking sustainable and compelling conflict. Debra Dixon’s GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict book was a major breakthrough. I read the book, attended Debra’s GMC workshop at a Romance Writers of Australia conference, and learned how to structure my stories with strong GMC.   

Tell us about the featured book.
Falling for the Farmer is set in Snowgum Creek, a fictitious town located near the Snowy Mountains in Australia. Kate Lawson is a runaway bride and city girl who grew up in a wealthy northern Sydney suburb. Jack Bradley runs the family apple orchards in Snowgum Creek and owns a car hire business. Jack drives Kate away from the church in his Cadillac, and she ends up living and working on Jack’s apple farm.

Please give us the first page of the book.
She had to escape now!

The long aisle surrounded by rows of smiling faces awaited Kate Lawson as she paused for photos at the back of the church, her sweaty hand clutching her father’s tuxedo-clad forearm.

Her fiancé stood at the end of the aisle, a triumphant grin on his face as his gaze swept over the crowded church.

Her father’s eyes misted. “You’re doing great.”

Kate shook her head. “Dad, I’m sorry. I can’t do this.” She lifted her wedding dress off the plush carpet and ran out of the church, her low heels scraping the stone steps as she sprinted to the bridal car.

Gulping air into her burning lungs, she wrenched open the cumbersome passenger door of the Cadillac and threw her bridal bouquet on the floor. She slid onto the soft cream leather seat, the full skirt of her gown settling over her legs.

Jack Bradley spun around in the driver’s seat, his tawny-brown eyes widening after she pulled the door closed and fastened her seat belt.

Her pulse raced, and she sucked in a shallow breath. “Let’s go.”

 “Where? Why?” He stashed his phone in the dashboard console. “Aren’t you supposed to be inside the church getting married?”

Kate glanced out the rear window. Her mother hobbled down the church steps in three-inch heels, her crimson face glowing in the late-morning Sydney sunshine. “Please, Jack, I’ll tell you later.”

He switched on the ignition and the powerful engine rumbled to life. He drove out of the church parking lot, slowing to maneuver his prized Cadillac Eldorado through the narrow gate.

She gripped the skirt bunched on her lap, refusing to look back at the church and her mother. Jack needed to put his foot down on the accelerator and get her out of here. Now.

He merged into a gap in the traffic. “Where are we going?”

I can’t wait until my copy arrives. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can connect with me on my website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter.
Twitter: @NarelleAtkins

Thank you, Narelle, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Falling for the Farmer -
Falling for the Farmer (Heartsong Presents) - Amazon
Falling for the Farmer (Heartsong Presents) - Kindle

Deeper Shopping
Christian Books

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Lena, thank you for the opportunity to visit your blog :) I'm sorry you can't enjoy mangoes. It's interesting how we're often allergic to the foods we love. I'm allergic to Vegemite, an Aussie food icon. I will confess that I don't like the taste of Vegemite, so it's not a big deal :)

Dorothy Adamek said...

Hi Lena and Narelle, I have a great picture of the three of us at the ACFW conference in 2013. Great memories. :)

I loved Falling For The Farmer, and I'm thrilled for Narelle and the books to come after this debut romance. Congratulations.

Cindy W. said...

I enjoyed the interview Lena and Narelle. The first page of Falling for the Farmer definitely pulled me in. I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the chance.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

pol said...

Love to meet new authors, Hi Narelle, I think reading your book with the farmer will be fun. thanks for sharing comments today with Lena.

Paula O(
a reader in Ga

EJ said...

Can't keep enough mangoes in the house because my eldest loves making mango milkshakes (though he loses some of the healthy benefits!). "Falling for the Farmer" sounds like a great book. Thanks for the interview. Elaine from Iowa

Sydney Harries said...

Thank you!!!
Sydney Harries
Georgia, USA

Britney Adams said...

I enjoyed this interview and getting to know Narelle. After reading the first page, I would love to know more about this runaway bride! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of FALLING FOR THE FARMER.

Britney Adams, TX

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Dotti, the pic with the three of us is lovely :) Thanks for your encouraging words, and I'm looking forward to fun times at our next conference together.

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Cindy, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview :) Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Paula, It's great to meet you, too :) I hope you have the opportunity to read Falling for the Farmer. Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Elaine, I love mango milkshakes and smoothies :) Costco here in Australia sell really good mango smooothies. I wish I lived closer to Costco and could indulge more often!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Sydney, Thanks for stopping by :)

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Britney, It's great to see you here :) Im glad you enjoyed the interview and I hope you have the opportunity to read Falling for the Farmer. Good luck in the drawing!

Sara Goff said...

Narelle, how fascinating that you were scribbling thoughts down at the age of two! Though you can't remember them now, I'm sure there were very creative ideas in your head at the time. :) Most of all, I have great respect for your mother for going with it and buying all those colored notepads!

London, England

scottsgal said...

ooohhh a runaway bride story - love the premise. Would love a chance to win this
Cheryl in IL

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela from KY

Tonja Saylor said...

I really enjoyed the interview, and when I saw the title of the book I couldn't wait to read the first page! Win or not I will be getting my hands on this book! And thank you, Lena for introducing a new to me author! Thanks to your blog I have discovered several new authors!
Tonja In Virginia

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for introducing Norelle. I enjoyed getting to know a few tidbits about her. I love the title of her book. I know it is a good read.

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Hawkins said...

Lena,thank you for another great blog post supporting fellow authors. Narelle is a special writer friend of mine here in Australia and so thrilled for her that she is now a published author and has that wonderful six book contract with Harlequin Love Inspired/Heartsong Presents.

Please do not enter me in the contest for her book, Lena. I already have a copy, have read it and really recommend it as a great read.

Mary Preston said...

I did not want the first page to end. Fantastic.

Mary P


Jenny Blake said...

Dont enter me I have a copy of the book. Interesting interview. I have to say I dont like mango. Oh how can you be allergic to vegemite.
I have Narelle on my blog also (with a give away sorry for the shameless plug).

I like getting to know you better.

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Sara, Who knows what I was writing about, lol. Possibly my imaginary friends :) My mum is great, although she does wonder at times how she produced me. She's not a big reader and doesn't like creative writing.

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Cheryl, I love the runaway bride story premise, too. A fun story to write :) Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Angela, Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Tonja, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview :) I hope my book lives up to your expectations. Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Melanie, It's great to meet you here and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview :) Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Mary, thanks for stopping by :) I've appreciated all your encouragement and support over the years.

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Mary, It's great to connect with another Aussie here :) I'm glad you enjoyed the first page of Falling for the Farmer. Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Jenny, How can you not like mangoes? It's the concentrated yeast in Vegemite that causes me grief. Thanks for stopping by :)

Judy Cooper said...

I believe this will be another great author to enjoy. Love the story line. Thank you Judy C. in Louisiana.

Diana Flowers said...

I have two FB friends from Australia, and I'm so fascinated with the place!! When I used to read secular books I watched the movie and read the book, Thornbirds, and I've been hooked on Australian settings ever since. I would love to read this and become acquainted with your work, Narielle, since I've just gotten a bit acquainted with you. :)

Diana in SC


Diana Flowers said...

I apologize for spelling your name wrong above, Narelle. I have a friend who has a friend named Narielle. Pretty name, either way! Me and my typos this morning...ugh. :/ It hasn't been long since I climbed out of bed!

Jackie McNutt said...

Lena, I liked this post featuring Narelle.
I have only recently learned of her book and would love to read Falling For The Farmer. loved the excerpt!
Thank you

Susan Johnson said...

Thank you for introducing me to Narelle. She is new to me. This sounds like a great book. I am intrigued by the first page.

Odessa, Texas

Dale said...

Interesting interview, Lena. Like your greatest accomplishment answer Narelle. Please don't enter me in the drawing as I already have the book which I am reading and enjoying.l

Melody said...

I just knew I would fall for a farmer since I was a farmers daughter BUT instead...I fell for the cowboy! 30 years ago this summer, I sure did!

Donna, TX

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Judy, I hope you have the opportunity to read Falling for the Farmer :) Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Diana, It's great to meet you here :) The Thorn Birds was a good miniseries and showed off the Australian setting. Have you seen the The Man from Snowy River? It's a 1980's movie and one of my favourite Aussie movies.

No worries about the spelling of my name. I've discovered Narelle is a unique Aussie name. Narielle is also a pretty name. Is the 'ie' sound pronounced? My name is pronounced Na-relle. Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Jackie, It's great to see you here :) I hope you have the opportunity to read my book. Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Susan, It's great to meet you :)I hope you have the chance to read Falling for the Farmer. Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Dale, Thanks for stopping by :) I'm very proud of my kids and their achievements, and I'm glad you're enjoying Falling for the Farmer.

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Melody, Cowboys or farmers, how do we choose between them? Cowboys are called Jackaroos or cattlemen in Australia, and often live in the remote outback on large cattle stations (ranches). Congrats on being with your cowboy for 30 years :) Good luck in the drawing!

Merry said...

I love the Australian setting and can't wait to experience the runaway city girl's adventure. Thanks for the giveaway!
Merry in MN

Arrowhead said...

I really enjoyed learning more about Narelle - and Lena, by association.

Rose Dee said...

I just finished 'Falling for the Farmer', and loved it. Thank you, Lena for a great interview, and for featuring Aussie authors.

Julie Lessman said...

Narelle ... three books at once? You're a better woman than me, that's for darn sure!!

And I laughed at your "Coffee, chocolate, and prayer," response, hopefully not in that order, though, right?? ;)

Lena, GREAT interview, as usual, my friend, and SUPER CONGRATS on TBCN BLOG OF THE YEAR WIN -- SO deserved!!


Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Merry, It's great to hear you like books with an Aussie setting :)
Good luck in the drawing!

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Rhonda, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for stopping by :)

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Rose, I'm glad you loved reading Falling for the Farmer. Thanks for stopping by :)

Narelle Atkins said...

Hi Julie, It's great to see you here :) It's a little crazy reading multiple books at once, but I will eventually finish all of them. And prayer is definitely more important than either coffee or chocolate, lol.