Month: October 2017

The Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey ...

First Line Friday | Week 13 |The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line!

Today I’m sharing from The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller

The Honorable Clara DeLancey stood atop the chalky cliffs. Above her, heavy clouds menaced the moon, revealing then concealing the scene below.

Okay, so that’s actually the first two lines—because those first two lines match the cover so well, and because it made me want to keep reading! (Which, surely, is the purpose of the first line.)

About The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society’s approval thwart the legacy of grace?
Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She’s lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara’s society mama is appalled at the new company she’s keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won’t let him ignore the penniless viscount’s daughter–not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they’re pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together–without finances, family support, or royal favor?

Find The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | ChristianBook | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

Yes, rather each blogger listing each of the other bloggers—which is getting to be a longer and longer list each month—we’ve got our own site. It’s just sharing FirstLineFriday posts for now, but who knows what the future holds?

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

Theirs was a case of David versus Goliath, and in battles like that, the honorable people were supposed to persevere until they finally won.

Book Review | A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

I am a big fan of Elizabeth Camden’s novels.

She has a unique ability to find lesser-known historical events or situations, and build a novel around them. A Dangerous Legacy includes the politcal background to the buiding of the first Panama Canal, PTSD, and the invention of the plumbing valve which enables us to have water pressure in multi-storey buildings. It also includes the slightly more familiar telegraph operators, and the necessity for British peers to marry American heiresses to shore up their crumbling estates.

Lucy Drake is a telegraph operator for upstart American news agency Associated Press. Sir Colin Beckwith is the manager of Reuters, AP’s rival. He’s one of those impoverished British gentlemen looking for a heiress, and Lucy is not a heiress. Her side of the Drake family lost control of their revolutionary water valve, and their legal battle is ongoing.

But Lucy and Colin keep getting thrown together, and they become allies of sorts after each finds out an awkward secret about the other. But neither of them realise how dangerous finding the truth will be, to their lives, their sanity, and their hearts.

Colin was a great hero.

He’s willing to do the right thing even at a personal cost to himself. He’s British through and through, almost the perfect gentleman. And Lucy was my favorite type of heroine—intelligent, independent, and hard-working. They made a great couple. I loved their conversations and banter, and wanted them to be together. It was r good to see their romance build bit by bit as they got to know each other.

A Dangerous Legacy had a lot more suspense than I was expecting, but I’m a romantic suspense fan so that worked for me! It certainly made the novel hard to put down.

Recommended for fans of Deeanne Gist, especially her later books which are solid historical romance but without an overt Christian element. A Dangerous Legacy had a few time-appropriate nods to Christianity, but the faith aspect wasn’t even a minor plot point.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About A Dangerous Legacy

Lucy Drake’s mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin’s connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they’re wading into will take them.

Find A Dangerous Legacy online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK
ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

About Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.

Find Elizabeth Camden online at:

Website | Facebook

Read the introduction to A Dangerous Legacy below:

Book Review | Dr. Colbert’s Keto Zone Diet

Okay, so I mostly review fiction, not diet books.

But New Zealand is coming into summer, and I have mysteriously acquired several kilos over the winter (one kilo equals a little over two pounds). Why is it the one thing we want to lose is the thing that’s so difficult to lose?

I have read a lot of diet books over the years. Most start by extolling the health benefits of their particular eating plan, which is always convincing. Okay, so most of them sensibly focus on the importance of prioritising fresh fruit and vegetables over processed food (as an aside, this is one of my biggest issues with a lot of vegan and vegetarian food—it’s highly processed. I can’t believe eating a highly processed GM soy product is can be healthier than eating grass-fed meat, or ocean-caught fish).

Typical diet books then move onto the specifics of the eating plan, complete with recipes. And that’s where the ones I’ve read fall down: the recipes are usually for a family of, but I’m the only one on the diet. Yes, I guess the logic of the four-person recipes is that no one wants to cook themselves separate food to the rest of the family. But it means that the diet recipes have to suit everyone in the family … and they never do. I’ve tried.

The Keto Zone Diet is the same, but different.

Yes, preaches the benefits of the keto eating plan, it emphasises fresh food, and it includes a handful of recipes. But it’s not prescriptive, which means it’s easier to follow, and easier to integrate into a family.

What is a keto zone diet?

Put simply, the idea is that the low-fat and low-calorie diets dominating the industry don’t work (as anyone caught on the diet-weight gain treadmill knows). The Keto Zone diet is a variation of the famed Atkins diet, which focuses on losing weight by limiting carbohydrate intake and eating moderate amounts of fat. Fat makes us feel full, while limiting carbs help us not to feel hungry between meals.

In practice, this means no bread, pasta, rice, corn, cereals, potatoes, sugar, or alcohol, limited fruit and limited starchy vegetables (like sweet potatoes and beans). It means moderate protein and fat (e.g. meat, dairy, and nuts), and unlimited low-starch vegetables. He also emphasises the importance of using good fats (such as avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or butter from grass-fed cows) not bad fats (such as canola oil or soybean oil).

That’s it.

And that’s what I like about the Keto Zone Diet.

It’s workable. I can cook and serve the whole family the same food. We just choose our proportions. I eat lots of vegetables, a little meat, and no pasta or potato.

It’s simple, it’s workable, and it’s sustainable.

I won’t go into the science—you can read the book for that. I recommend you do, because this diet does go against a lot of the mainstream dietary advice. If following a low-fat, high-carb diet works for you, then great. Go with it. But I feel constantly hungry on a low-fat diet. I lose weight, but gain it all back again (sound familiar?). I don’t get so hungry on a low-carb diet, which has to be a good thing. If I’m not hungry (and can withstand the temptation to eat when I’m not hungry), then it’s going to be easier to lose weight.

There are a handful of simple recipes at the end of The Keto Zone Diet book, with an emphasis on simple. They are all for one person (well, except for the mayo and seed bread, but both will keep).

It doesn’t matter that there aren’t many recipes.

The internet is full of #Keto options, including cauliflower rice, cauliflower hash browns, and cauliflower pizza base, and a bread substitute or pancakes made from egg and cream cheese (the pancakes are a little sweeter than my regular recipe, but that means I don’t need the maple syrup).

If you’re curious about the keto diet, then Dr. Colbert’s Keto Zone Diet is a good introduction. If you’re a keto ninja, then this probably isn’t the book for you—although it might be a good book to own in paperback, to show your unbelieving friends that there is some real medical science behind your diet.

Thanks to Revell and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

You can find Dr. Colbert’s Keto Zone Diet online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

You can read the introduction to Dr. Colbert’s Keto Zone Diet below:

Have you tried a keto diet? How did you find it?

What's your favourite Christian Fiction genre?

Bookish Question #29 | What’s your favourite Christian Fiction genre?

Christian fiction comes in a range of genres

I suspect there are Christian versions of most of the genres found in general market fiction (with the exception of erotica and gay romance, for obvious reasons).

Romance readers are especially well catered for in Christian fiction. The Christian fiction industry is dominated by romance and the endless variations thereof: Amish romance, contemporary romance, historical romance (especially western romance and mail order bride romance ), and romantic suspense. Romance also creeps in to other genres such as women’s fiction, mystery, thrillers, and speculative fiction.

Romance is my favourite genre.

Not Amish romance—I don’t see anything romantic in having a house full of children producing endless dirty laundry, and no hot water. Yes, I suffer from #FirstWorldProblems and #SuburbanMomProblems (I think I see a future blog post there). But most other genres of romance, contemporary or historical, first person or third person. Especially if they have a touch of humour.

I like romance because I like the happy-ever-after ending romance guarantees. It reminds me of the gospel: no matter what bad things happen, we know we’ll get our happy-ever-after in Jesus.

We have hope.

I also see Christian romance novels as an allegory of our relationship with Christ. We are His bride, so surely this is the ultimate romance?

Yes, my favourite genre is romance, but I read most genres of Christian fiction—it shares that underlying message of hope. And it’s why I tend not to like stories without a happy ending. They often have no hope, and that doesn’t reflect the Truth of the Bible.

What’s your favourite Christian fiction genre? Why?

If you're willing to admit it ...

First Line Friday | Week 12 | The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line!

Today I’m sharing from The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

If you’re willing to admit it, you probably know me as Raine de Bourgh. Yes, that Raine de Bourgh. Did you blush at the mere mention of my pen name? Yeah. So did I.

I know not everyone likes reading novels written in the first person. But if you do—and especially if you enjoy contemporary romance with plenty of humour, you’re going to love The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck. I’ll have my full review posted in the next week or two. I might have to read it again first … and it’s a long time since I’ve loved a book that much.

About The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Yes, rather each blogger listing each of the other bloggers—which is getting to be a longer and longer list each month—we’ve got our own site. It’s just sharing FirstLineFriday posts for now, but who knows what the future holds?

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

If you knew Cliff Hamilton ... you wouldn't have to ask why someone would kill him. The real question would be 'who?'

Book Review | Cardiac Event by Richard Mabry

Cliff Hamilton is a respected family doctor, although he does have an unfortunate habit of annoying his professional colleagues. His unexpected death soon turns into a murder investigation, and it’s obvious the not-so-good Dr Hamilton was hiding a range of secrets. And wives.

Yes, Cardiac Event is an excellent murder mystery in a medical setting. The opening scene with Dr Hamilton gave the impression of a benign older gentleman who couldn’t hurt a fly. We soon found out this was a false impression, and we learned more and more of his misdeeds as the story progresses.

There is plenty of suspense and thrills and lots of red herrings (and a few what I though were red herrings that were actual clues). The end was a surprise, but made perfect sense … well, as much as murder can make sense.

Cardiac Event was an excellent read. Recommended for medical thriller and mystery fans.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Richard Mabry

I’m a retired physician who, in addition to writing, is a husband and grandfather, plays (and enjoys) golf, and does the hundred-and-one other things that retired people do.

I got into non-medical writing after the death of my first wife with my book, THE TENDER SCAR: LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF A SPOUSE. I’m gratified that it continues to help those who have lost a loved one.

Now I’m writing what I call “medical suspense with heart.” My novels have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Award, Romantic Times’ Best Inspirational Novel and their Reviewer’s Choice Award, have won the Selah award, and been named by Christian Retailing as the best in the mystery/suspense/thriller category. My latest novel is CARDIAC EVENT, which has been given a 4 1/2 star rating and a “Top Pick” by Romantic Times. I’ve also published three novellas, the latest one DOCTOR’S DILEMMA.

You can find Dr Richard Mabry online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

You can also click here to read my recent interview with Dr Mabry.

About Cardiac Event

Cardiologist Dr. Kirk Martin continually crosses swords with Dr. Cliff Hamilton, so he is surprised when Hamilton asks him to care for him after a heart attack. When he is ready for discharge, Hamilton is found dead in his hospital bed, and Martin is suspected of murdering him.
After another doctor is found shot to death, Martin’s girlfriend, nurse Janet Rush, reminds him to be careful because he may be next. Can he save his own life while searching for the identity of the real murderer?

You can find Cardiac Event online at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble |eBay

You can read the introduction to Cardiac Event below:

As for her safety, God already knew when the end of her days would be.

Book Recommendation | Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

Where We Belong starts in 1890, in the Sinai Desert, with forty-five year-old Rebecca Hawes traveling to St Catherine’s Monastery to search for ancient copies of the Bible. It’s a start that hooked me immediately, both because of the historical setting, and because of the age of the heroine—it’s refreshing to read a novel where the heroine is out of her twenties.

I was also intrigued because I could relate to Rebecca’s thoughts about the desolate nature of the Sinai between Cairo and St Catherines. Her journey took seven days by camel. In comparison, mine took seven hours by minibus, but that was quite long enough to feel for the stubborn Israelites, condemned to spend forty years in the heat and dust.

It's one thing to learn a language and another thing to understand the people who speak it.But then Where We Belong left the Sinai in 1890, and travelled back to 1860 Chicago—and I wasn’t impressed. It was still Rebecca’s story, but now Rebecca was a pampered teenager in the days before the Civil War (which I knew was coming, even though she didn’t). Fortunately, it soon became apparent that Rebecca was no ordinary Victorian-era teenager, and nor was her sister, Flora.

The novel followed Rebecca and Flora from their teenage years in Chicago through to showing why they are travelling to the Sinai in 1890 with only a couple of young servants for protection. The most fascinating thing is that Rebecca and Flora are based on real-life adventurers, Agnes and Margaret Smith, born in Scotland in 1843.

This explains one of the strengths of the novel—the feeling of historical authenticity that can only be gained by extensive research (and then leaving out most of the detail of that research). The other strength was related, and that was the Christian element. Rebecca and Flora (like the real-life Agnes and Margaret) were women of deep faith. They were intelligent women who had the strength of character to choose to follow God, not society, and who had endless compassion for the poor.

Lynn Austin has yet to write a novel I haven’t enjoyed, but I do think this is her best yet. Recommended for Christian historical fiction fans, especially those who enjoy authors such as Elizabeth Camden and Jody Hedlund.

I’m a history fan, and I loved it from the first line to the last. (I don’t think I stopped in between). Even better, a recent article from the Smithsonian shows new manuscripts are still being discovered at St Catherine’s:

Lost Languages Discovered in One of the World’s Oldest Continuously Run Libraries

Isn’t that cool?

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Lynn Austin

Lynn AustinFor many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband’s work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she’d earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Along with reading, two of Lynn’s lifelong passions are history and archaeology. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published 24 novels.

Find Lynn Austin online at:

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

About Where We Belong

The Adventure of a Lifetime for Two Indomitable Socialite Sisters
In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert–and into a sandstorm.
Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a street urchin who is learning to be their ladies’ maid, the two women are on a quest to find an important biblical manuscript. As the journey becomes more dangerous and uncertain, the four travelers sift through memories of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the circumstances that brought them to this time and place.

Click below to find Where We Belong online:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads

What Christian novel do you recommend

Bookish Question #28 | What Christian novel do you recommend?

What Christian novel or author would you recommend to a non-Christian reader?

I’m finding an increasing number of the novels I’m reviewing from Christian fiction publishers are “Christian lite”. They have little or no mention of God or Jesus, none of the main characters are overtly Christian, and there is no faith journey. I know this bugs a lot of faithful Christian fiction readers.

Many of us read Christian fiction not just because we want a “clean” read, but because we want to vicariously experience the faith journey of a fictional character. So when a “Christian” novel isn’t, we can feel a little cheated. But I’ve been involved in many online discussions over the years that have shown me we need these novels.

Christian fiction can’t just preach to the choir.

Sometimes we have to crawl out of our comfortable pews and do our bit in fulfilling the Great Commission. We have to write books that will lead people closer to God.

This can come through the most unlikely of titles. One of my online friends has an Asian family in his church who became Christians after the father read The Da Vinci Code. The man had never heard of Jesus, and Dan Brown’s much maligned book prompted him to look into who Jesus was.

I’m not a betting woman, but I’m sure that leading people to Christ wasn’t on Dan Brown’s list of things to achieve with his story.

Closer to home, I recently read a Goodreads review of The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale. I haven’t read the book, and the reviewer was disappointed that it wasn’t overtly Christian. Another lady joined the discussion, saying she’d become a Christian as a result of reading the book.

Hallelujah!

The commenter went on to say she’d been loaned the book by a Christian neighbour, and she never would have agreed to read it if it had been overtly Christian. In fact, she’d written to the author to share her conversion story, and the author was suitably thrilled and humbled.

Isn’t that what it’s about? Drawing people closer to Jesus—Christian and non-Christian?

Last week, I was listening to the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, and the reviewers were talking about which romance books they recommend to non-romance readers. One—who isn’t a Christian, as far as I know—said she often recommends books by Deeanne Gist to readers she doesn’t know well, because she knows there won’t be any rauchy content in them that might offend some people.

Yet Deeanne Gist is a Christian author—one who has switched from traditional Christian fiction for a CBA publisher to “Christian lite” romances for a general market publisher. Gist’s newer books are still written from a Christian world view, but don’t have an overt faith element. Yet here they are, being recommended on one of the biggest general market romance review sites.

That’s not preaching to the choir.

So here’s the tough question. If you were in the position to loan your non-Christian neighbour a Christian novel, what novel or author would you suggest they read?

Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

First Line Friday | Week 11 | Where We Belong

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line.

Today I’m sharing from Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

Rebecca Hawes lay awake in her tent, convinced that the howling wind was about to lift her entire camp into the air and hurl it to the far side of the desert.

This story is amazing. It’s set in 1890, in the US and in St Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, and it’s based on the real-life adventures of two Scottish sisters. I’m a history fan, and I loved it from the first line to the last. (I don’t think I stopped in between). Even better, a recent article from the Smithsonian shows new manuscripts are still being discovered at St Catherine’s:

Lost Languages Discovered in One of the World’s Oldest Continuously Run Libraries

Isn’t that cool?

About Where We Belong:

The Adventure of a Lifetime for Two Indomitable Socialite Sisters
In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert–and into a sandstorm.
Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a street urchin who is learning to be their ladies’ maid, the two women are on a quest to find an important biblical manuscript. As the journey becomes more dangerous and uncertain, the four travelers sift through memories of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the circumstances that brought them to this time and place.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

Yes, rather each blogger listing each of the other bloggers—which is getting to be a longer and longer list each month—we’ve got our own site. It’s just sharing FirstLineFriday posts for now, but who knows what the future holds?

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

#ThrowbackThursday | Book Review | Unspoken Rules

It’s Throwback Thursday! My review of Unspoken Rules by Lora Inak first appeared at Australasian Christian Writers on 31 August 2107—so it’s actually still a new release. It’s not your typical Christian fiction novel—instead, it’s a young adult novel looking at the difficulties immigrants face in integrating into their new culture.

Natalie is a Syrian Orthodox Christian, the child of immigrants to Australia, currently in her final year of high school. Her older sister wants nothing more than to marry a Baba-approved man from the Syrian expat community, but Natalie is falling for a guy from school. An Australian. And she wants to become a journalist and travel the world, not get married and start her own family.

She has many of the same struggles as normal seventeen-year-old girls, but she also has the struggle of straddling two worlds—the conservative patriarchal culture of her Syrian family and community which is full of unspoken rules, and the more liberal Australian culture of her school. And things are difficult at home. Her older sister is moody, but that’s nothing new. Her mother is acting out of character. Baba carries on making bad jokes.

Natalie might hide her Syrian culture from most of her schoolmates, but she can’t hide it from the reader.

Instead, we see that the girls at her church are just as focused on clothes and boys as the girls at school. What was good to see was that none of the characters experienced any racism—although that could be more because racism wasn’t the focus of the book than because it doesn’t exist in modern Australia.

One thing that bugged me was that while the family were strict Syrian Orthodox Christians, the focus seemed to be on the cultural aspect rather than the spiritual. Natalie’s sister was the only character who seemed to pray—I never really understood whether Natalie believed in what the church taught or not.

She followed the rules, but that’s a matter of outward behaviour, not inner faith. I guess I’d have liked to have understood that a little better.

Unspoken Rules was a fascinating insight into other cultures—the Syrian Orthodox culture, the tightknit Syrian community (which can’t really be separated from the Orthodox), and modern Australian teen culture. And it’s a warts-and-all insight, told from Natalie’s point of view. The writing has a slightly foreign flavour, especially when Mama and Baba are talking. But that makes sense, because their first language is Arabic.

A fascinating and engrossing Young Adult novel that shows growing up is hard no matter what your culture.

Thanks to Rhiza Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Lora Inak

Lora InakHi. I’m Lora Inak and my debut novel Unspoken Rules is out now.

Unspoken Rules is about walking the tightrope between being Australian and being of your birthplace (or the birthplace of your parents). If you, like around 35% of Australians including me, are born in another country (or perhaps your parents and grandparents were) then this is a story that will hopefully resonate with you.

You can find Lora Inak online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Unspoken Rules

Seventeen-year-old Natalie has two lives.

At home, her life is governed by the unspoken rules of her Christian Orthodox background. At school, she is the Syrian girl who never goes to parties. She pretends she doesn’t care, but deep down she just wants to be like everyone else.

Natalie wants to have the freedom to choose her own destiny … to fall in love with the new boy without fear of repercussions.

Unspoken Rules is a fresh story about family, first love, walking a cultural tightrope and freedom.

You can buy Unspoken Rules here:

Amazon US | Amazon UKRhiza Press