Wednesday, 6 May 2015

What Next? (plus Seaside Proposal book giveaway)

By Narelle Atkins

This week I'm celebrating the release of Seaside Proposal, my sixth and final book with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line. It’s a bittersweet celebration in many ways because next month marks the end of an era in Christian Romance publishing. 

In November 2014 Harlequin announced they were closing the Heartsong Presents line. Harlequin had acquired the line from Barbour only a few years earlier. The last four Heartsong books are releasing in June 2015. 

Last year my agent, Steve Laube, wrote a post on Heartsong’s Publishing Legacy. Ellie Whyte has a list of the 1148 Heartsong Presents titles published between 1992 and 2015 on the Soul Inspirationz site. My mentor, Mary Hawkins, was published by Heartsong in the early years. Mary’s first Heartsong release with Barbour in 1993 was Search for Tomorrow, number 42 in the series. 

Back in March 2013 I signed a six book contract with Heartsong. I was fortunate that Seaside Proposal was scheduled for release prior to the line closing. Many of my Heartsong author friends had book contracts cancelled and my lovely editor lost her job in the restructure.

Publishing is a tough business. Heartsong published my contemporary Christian romances that are set outside of the USA. All six of my Heartsong books are set in Australia.

There’s no longer a market niche with a large traditional publisher for my Aussie stories. A few years ago this development may have stalled my publishing career. The rise of indie publishing has created wonderful opportunities for authors to publish books that don’t fit into the traditional publishing model.

Zach and Billie, my hero and heroine in Seaside Proposal, are living on as minor characters in a spin-off indie novella. His Perfect Catch, featuring Billie's cousin, will independently release in a contemporary Christian romance novella box set next month titled SPLASH! It’s exciting to work on a publishing project with an innovative group of Christian romance author friends. I’ll be sharing more information on my novella release very soon and here's a preview of the box set cover.



Today I'm giving away a print copy of Seaside Proposal (worldwide, wherever The Book Depository delivers) to a reader who leaves a comment on this post and enters the Rafflecopter giveaway.




BILLIE RADCLIFFE HAS A SECRET

And she isn’t sharing it with anyone, including Zach Montford. Even though she feels an instant connection with the good-looking banker and youth leader, she’s wary of rejection. Besides she’s only in the close-knit beach community until she meets the one man who can fill in the blanks about her history.

Zach hopes his temporary stint with the church will help him decide whether to go into full-time ministry. Though his career plans are uncertain, he’s sure about his growing feelings for Billie. When a shocking revelation throws everything into question, Zach and Billie have a chance to put the past to rest…and walk into the future together.



A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, Narelle Atkins was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle's contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia.

Blog: http://narelleatkins.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NarelleAtkinsAuthor
Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins

a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Narelle, once again. And great news re: the novella box set SPLASH. That will be a great way for readers to be introduced to all of you.

    All the best with the launches.

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    1. Thanks, Ian :) We're all really excited about the upcoming release of SPLASH! Indie publishing is a whole new world and lots of fun.

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  2. Amazing story Narelle, thanks for sharing.
    It's very exciting to see your latest book out for it's launch!
    All the best with the next step in your journey. I'll look forward to hearing how you go.

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    1. Hi Linsey, I hope my story will encourage writers to not give up on their writing dreams. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  3. Nice job, Narelle! I will be looking out for the book!

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    1. Thanks, Sonja :) I hope you'll have an opportunity to read Seaside Proposal.

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  4. I own several early Heartsong novels, including Search for Tomorrow. I enjoy them - I just wish they'd been easier to find in shops (I couldn't find them in Wal-Mart or Barnes & Noble when I visited the US last year. Plenty of Love Inspired, but no Heartsong Presents).

    Best wishes for Splash! I've already preordered my copy.

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    1. I am pleasantly surprised you obtained a copy of Search for Tomorrow, Iola. I still call this novel my "apprenticeship novel". Barbour released four books each month, so you can see at number 42 I was so blessed. It had taken thirteen years for this first book of mine to be published. It even had been accepted by a Zondervan editor in for an inspirational romance line, but unfortunately that line folded before I actually signed a contract. It was a real blow and I am so sad for all those authors affected by the closure of Harlequin Love Inspired Heartsongs.

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    2. Thanks, Iola :) I hope you enjoy the stories in SPLASH! The Heartsong books have had less retail distribution in the US than the LI books.

      Mary, the closing of the line has affected a number of authors. 48 traditional publishing slots per year have disappeared as a result of the closure.

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  5. Splash! How novel:-) Really. That must have been so much fun working with other writers, Narelle. Even with publishers quitting, there's no stopping you. Yes, go Indy!

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    1. Thanks, Rita :) I've loved working with the indie group to put together SPLASH! and I've learned so much through the experience.

      When obstacles block our path, we have a choice in how we respond. We can moan and complain about the situation and wallow in negativity, or we can invest our energy in looking for a different solution and new ways of achieving our goals. Publishing has changed and, if we don't move with the times, we'll be left behind. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming indie book release :)

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  6. Congratulations, Narelle. What a fabulous few years you've enjoyed.
    Splash looks very eye catching. Great cover design. :)

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    1. Thanks, Dotti :) I love the box set cover. It's fun and sets the mood and tone for the collection. The red gum boots are cute!

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  7. I have been so thrilled to have another Australian published in the Heartsong inspirational romance line, Narelle. It has been such a privilege to share with such a talented writer as yourself, Narelle. As I just shared in reply to Iola, my first book, Search for Tomorrow, was released near the end of that first year Barbour commenced their romance book club. Thank you for sharing your story here. I just have to emphasize again how important it is for writers to persevere, never give up. I had 13 rejections on that first manuscript, Search for Tomorrow, before that contract with Barbour Publishing. Being number 42, the book club was still getting off the ground and the number of subscribers had increased greatly by the time my eighth and last Heartsong Presents book was published in 2002.

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    1. Mary, I'm so glad you didn't give up after rejection #13 :) I feel blessed to be a part of the Heartsong legacy.

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  8. So pleased you got to have your six novels published before it all went pear-shaped. Splash! looks terrific. Love your work, Narelle :)

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    1. Thanks, Andrea :) My three book Sydney series is complete now Seaside Proposal is published, and I'm glad all three stories came out under the Heartsong imprint.

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  9. I'm wanting to find out if..Zach and Billie have a chance to put the past to rest…and walk into the future together.
    Interesting post today, I do enjoy your books :)

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    1. Hi Deanna, I hope you'll enjoy Zach and Billie's story :)

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  10. Seaside Proposal looks great, especially since I practically live on the beach (Oregon Coast)! I was saddened to hear about the closing of the Heartsong Presents line. I am confident that God will redirect your path because He's ever faithful! He put the desire for writing in your heart & He will open new doors!
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your book! Keeping you all in my prayers :-)
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Hi Trixi, Thanks so much for your prayers and encouraging words :) I love the Oregon Coast and I'm hoping to visit again soon!

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  11. I am always looking for new authors to read. Your book sounds like the kind I enjoy reading.
    jwisley8(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Hi Joye, I hope you'll have the opportunity to read Seaside Proposal. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  12. Thank you for the giveaway

    alysap AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. Hi jcp, Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing!

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  13. Sounds like a fun read Narelle. All the best with it. Glad you got yours all sorted before the publisher pulled the plug.

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  14. Thanks, Dale :) It was good to have all of my scheduled books published.

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