Australia Day Book Giveaway!

The wonderful Shelley-Rae at Book’d Out is hosting the Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop again this year, and I’m joining in a little late! After you’ve been here, click over to Book’d Out to find other wonderful opportunities to win Australian books.

Today is the day we celebrate our pride in our nation and its people. I count myself as incredibly fortunate to have been born here, because it is an amazing country, with a wide diversity of resilient, courageous people.

Around this time of year though, as Australia Day approaches, I always find myself pondering what it means to me. And to be honest, sometimes I’m not always comfortable. I want to acknowledge that for many first Australians, the Indigenous people of this country, today marks an anniversary of a devastating event for their cultures – the first European Settlement of this vast continent, and the ‘claiming’ of it for the British Empire.

I also feel uncomfortable occasionally with some of the jingoism and the ‘pride’ that is loudly expressed, because ‘pride’ is a word we often use lightly and without thinking. In the media sometimes it seems it’s a ‘pride’ that excludes others, that places ‘us’ above ‘them’, that says that no-one is as good as ‘us’. And at those times I’m reminded of a quote from Ursula Le Guin’s amazing book, The Left Hand of Darkness :

And I wondered, not for the first time, what patriotism is, what the love of country truly consists of, how that yearning loyalty that had shaken my friend’s voice arises: and how so real a love can become, too often, so foolish and vile a bigotry. Where does it go wrong?

Ursula le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (p. 235)

Now, please don’t get me wrong – I love my country, and I love that my fellow Australians are so passionate about it. I love the landscapes, the people, the places we’ve built, and the long history of struggle and achievement. But it was pure luck that I was born here. And that’s often made me think – can I be proud of that, when it wasn’t something I chose to do? What can I be proud of? What have I personally done, of my own choice and effort, to contribute to this country?

It’s a big question. I hope I uphold many of the ideals that my forebears who came to this country in the nineteenth and early twentieth century lived their lives by. My ancestors were all ‘ordinary’ folk – they weren’t famous or wealthy; they’re not mentioned in history text books. But they worked and raised families and contributed to their communities; they educated their children and volunteered their time to community groups; they took part in the lives of their towns and suburbs and took an interest in politics and had their say. Even my convict great-great-grandfather (transported for theft in 1837), respected the lives of others, rescued people from a shipwreck at great risk to himself, and eventually settled to become a respected family man and community member.

My forebears, right through to my parents and my immediate family, have all served their communities and through them their country in a multitude of ways. I could say that I am proud of that – but what they have done is not my doing. I can only truly be proud of what I have done, of how I contribute to my country, of how I uphold the traditions and ideals that have helped to make this country what it is and what it should continue to be – a wonderful, diverse, welcoming country, made up of peoples of many cultures, a safe haven for those fleeing persecution for a century or more, a nation that believes in a ‘fair go’ for all, and works to enable that.

I’ve worked in service industries (education and health) much of my career, I’ve volunteered in community organisations, I’ve served on committees, I’ve on numerous occasions written to politicians to express my view, and I’ve accepted and taken seriously my responsibilities to vote at all elections. I’ve always tried to treat others with respect, and have sought to understand the complexities of culture and history and to recognise similarities rather than emphasising differences.

I’ve tried to write my love of this country into my books; to write with respect for my readers, and to create with my fictional characters and communities a reflection of the diversity, the resilience, and the courage, that I see around me in rural Australia.

So yes, I’m proud to be Australian, and to be a part of this country. I could do more; I probably should do more. Perhaps this year I will volunteer my time again for a community organisation – I haven’t done enough in recent years, and our country relies so much on volunteers.

But enough of my rambling thoughts! Let’s get on to the book give aways! To be in the draw, just leave a comment on this post by midnight on Monday Tuesday, 28th January, about what you’re proud of – whether you’re Australian or from somewhere else. (Because while we know that Australia is great, we also know it’s not the only great place in the world!)

For Australian residents: I’ll draw one winner who can choose between two wonderful books by Australian authors: Half Moon Bay, a thrilling romantic suspense set on the north coast of New South Wales, by Helene Young; and House for All Seasons, set just a little inland in northern New South Wales, by Jenn J McLeod.

Cover - Half Moon Bay by Helene Young House-for-all-Seasons-Jenn-J-McLeod-194x300

For International residents: I’ll draw one winner who can choose between the ebook version of Helene’s Half Moon Bay, or an ebook version of my book, Darkening Skies – assuming those are available in the country where you live. Otherwise, I’ll send a paper version of my book Dead Heat.

Cover - Half Moon Bay by Helene Young Cover of Darkening Skies by Bronwyn Parry

When you comment, please mention which draw you’re entering.

For my fellow Australians, I hope you enjoy Australia Day, however you’re celebrating it!

50 thoughts on “Australia Day Book Giveaway!

  1. I am posting this not to enter the competition – which I think is a bloody good one – because I have read these books. But I’m posting to say that all the author’s whose books are being offered in this prize are truly gifted people. They all capture Australia and its’ people in very different ways. Bronwyn, I love how you capture the rural towns, the description of the bush and the people who live there. Helene, you capture the tropics in your words and again, share the personalities that you are more than likely to find down the street. Jenn, you also capture the rural town atmosphere and share bits of people that we can all relate to. I am so proud that we have some wonderful Australian authors such as all of you! It is refreshing to read about our own country and open our eyes to places that we may or may not have been and people we may or may not have met. You all do Australia proud!!

    • Sharon, thanks so much for your kind words. It’s a privilege to be able to live in rural Australia, and to be able to write about it. I’m constantly awed by the amazing people and places out here.

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  3. 44 years ago I first set foot in Australia – not by choice my parents dragged me kicking and screaming here when they decided to emigrate. 12 years after that as the wife of an Australian and mother of two little Australians I took my oath to become an Australian by choice.

    It use to be hard to fins Aussie writers but now we are spoiled for choice in whatever genre we want.

    Australia IS a lucky country.

    I would love to go in the draw for Half Moon Bay πŸ™‚

    • Sally, I’m so glad your parents dragged you here – and that you decided to stay! There are so many wonderful Australian writers now – yes, we are spoiled for choice!

    • Hi Laura! Thanks for entering the giveaway. I can highly recommend Helene’s and Jenn’s books! You’d love ‘visiting’ their parts of Australia πŸ™‚

  4. I’m from Texas and as a native born Texan, we’re just full of pride over our State. Like most places it has a downside as well, but on the whole we think it is a great State. We also like that some of our Texans might not have been born here, but they got here as fast as they could!

    I’d love to toss my name into the hat for a chance to win a Bronwyn Parry book.

    • Hi Sherry! Texans are definitely proud of their state, aren’t they? Must be something in the air – or maybe because it’s one of the largest (the largest?) US states! I’ve only had one brief visit there, to the RWA conference in Dallas on 2007, but hopefully I’ll get back one day.

  5. Hi Bronwyn, thanks so much for this giveaway! I’d love to win Jenn’s book, House for all Seasons (I own Helene’s). Have a wonderful Australia day and weekend πŸ™‚

    • Brenda, thanks for entering the contest! Hope you had an enjoyable long weekend – and the weekend since then!

  6. I love the quote on patriotism easily eroding into bigotry, very apt for the country I love but one that seems to be moving away from inclusion.

    Could I please go in the draw for Aussie residents? I would love to read either book but if I have to choose, I’ll say ‘Half Moon Bay’. Thanks for the comp and Happy Australia Day πŸ™‚

    • Lisa, that quote has always resonated with me, but even more so in recent years. There’s much to celebrate in our country, but not at the expense of others. Hope you had a joyful Australia Day!

  7. I am proud of the generosity I see and experience from people everyday, from some taking the time to help out regardless to their situation to taking the extra few minutes to say hi and see how you are doing….its great.

    Would love to go into the draw for House for All Seasons.

    • Nat, isn’t it wonderful when people are so friendly and generous? I’ve met that kind of warmth and welcome from strangers in many places, not just in Australia. But many Australians do it well, and there’s a proud tradition, especially in rural Australia, of pitching in to do whatever’s needed.

  8. I have just finished Darkening Skies Bronwyn & its brilliant as are all your other ones πŸ™‚ I don’t think you can write them quick enough for me at the moment lol
    Thank you for sharing the name of more Aussie romantic thrillers… I can’t seem to get enough πŸ™‚
    I’m off to check them out Xx

    • Paige, I’m so pleased that you enjoyed Darkening Skies! I’m sorry I can’t write them quicker – wish I could find a cable to just download stories from my brain πŸ™‚ I highly recommend Helene’s and Jenn’s books. OtherAustralian romantic suspense authors include Sandy Curtis, Shannon Curtis, Lee Christine, Chris Taylor, and Kendall Talbot – so there’s a few to go on with!

    • I’ve met some very kind strangers in the USA, as well as Australia – in most places I’ve travelled, really. I do believe that most people are kind at heart!

  9. Happy Australia Day! While there are a lot of things happening in Australia that I am not so proud of, there are many, many things that I always have been and always will be proud of. Above all, I am proud of the tradition of quiet contribution to Australian society, and the spirit that moves it – the spirit that every little bit helps, every individual can make a difference, everyone can aspire to greatness, and everyone deserves a ‘fair go’.

    I would love to win a copy of House for All Seasons – and by the way, Bronwyn, I have entered a competition on another blog to win Darkening Skies πŸ™‚

    • Sally, thank you for entering this giveaway. Your comments about the tradition of quiet contribution to the society are ones that resonate with me – I see so many wonderful people putting their time and energies into making their communities and society a better place. Whether it’s researching for a cure for cancer, or running a cake stall at a school fete, or fighting bushfires in the RFS – all these things are important to our quality of life and sense of community, aren’t they?

  10. I’d love to be in the draw for Helene’s book, Half Moon Bay. I also stopped by to say, what a wonderful blog, Bronwyn, but you’re too humble. You do much for the community (including wildlife) and as an author, tell ripping stories that realistically portray Australian people and places, particularly small rural communities. Drought, flood, fire, happy families and dysfunctional ones, communities divided and those who fight together, characters who thrive in challenging, often isolated jobs (cops, rangers and the like), relationships that suffer or prosper through traumatic events and more. Great work. Happy Australia Day!

    • Sandi,thank you so much for your very kind and uplifting words! I do hope my books contribute to readers’ sense of self and place, and to understanding a little more about rural Australia. I certainly do try to write stories that affirm things that are important to us.

  11. I wasn’t born in Australia but have lived here so long I certainly consider myself Australian. It IS a wonderful country.

  12. G’day Bronwyn
    2 excellent books to choose! As an Aussie citizen, who thoroughly agrees we are blessed and privileged to have been born into this country, I often wonder why I am so lucky.
    I think I would prefer Half Moon as I love a good suspense book πŸ™‚
    Thanks again for your generosity

    • Louise – great name! It’s my middle name πŸ™‚ (But you’d think that after all these years of typing it, I would manage sometimes not to type ‘Lousie’. Sigh. Just as well I always check!!)

      Thanks for entering! We are lucky to have been born here, aren’t we? I’ve always figured I need to try to live up to the privilege by being an active citizen, and by recognising my good fortune.

      Half Moon Bay is definitely a good suspense!

  13. Half Moon Bay looks fab. I read and loved house for all seasons. Awesome giveaway. Please enter me in Australian comp. Im proud of our commitment to freedom of self expression which although not always 100% respected is an aussie ideal.

    • Jen, freedom of self-expression is an important value. I’m grateful, too, that it’s mostly respected here.

      I loved House for All Seasons, too! Half Moon Bay is another great book – I’m sure you’d love it!

  14. Please enter me in the Australian draw. Both of the novels look like great reads! I am proud to live in such a diverse society with such an awesome natural environment.

    • Regan, thanks for entering! I too love the diversity of our society; it’s wonderful that so many people have brought elements of their cultures here – especially the food! And you may have guessed from my books that I’m passionate about our natural environment πŸ™‚

  15. Bronwyn, great post. I’m lucky to be in a country where I can have my own views and have the democratic right to vote, where there is help for the poor, wide spaces around, diversity in cultures, and where most people are lovely. Even this great country could be better and I try to make it a little bit better by being nice to those I meet. It’s the little things that help us during the day. Or so I think.

    The two countries I could have been raised were Greece or South Africa, and with the turmoil in both, I’m lucky to be in Australia.

    • Eleni, thanks for posting! We do have much to be thankful for, don’t we! You certainly do well at being pleasant and lovely to people, and contributing to the writing community! I’m glad your family settled here πŸ™‚

    • Kathi, if you need any recommendations of great Australian books, just let me know! Fortunately, with ebooks, many more are now available to overseas readers.

  16. I choose Half Moon Bay by Helene Young.
    I’m proud to be an Australian and to live in a country with such a vast range or people and nationalities.
    I love our unique fauna never to be found anywhere else like the platypus.

    • Ann-Marie, I love our diversity, too! And our fauna is wonderful – although perhaps if our snakes could have been a little less deadly….!

  17. I go along with your thinking, Bronwyn. I can really only be proud of what I’ve done.
    I’ve been a daughter that looked after her parents, in particular my mother, who I cared for until her death. Later, I became the wife of the Sydney Opera House Organ Builder Ron Sharp: a role that seems still to be bringing us mutual happiness. Of late, I’ve written and, with Ron’s help, published ten titles with good reviews but very small readership. But still, I’m proud I made the effort and did it!
    .I would like to win a copy of Helene’s book.:)

    • Margaret, you have so much to be proud of! Congratulations on your books – writing one is an achievement, writing ten is even more so!

  18. I was born ‘Australian’ – I am so proud! I can walk down the street without fear of suicide bombs, I can go to shops and buy food without begging on a street corner, I can own a car and home to go purchase this food and cook it hygienically in, I can travel around this beautiful country, Australia, in moden transport and reasonable safety as we are not a country torn apart by war, I can read a book of my choice (of course have read all Bronwyns, and would love Half Moon Bay!). I live in a democratic, free and wonderous country – I have many reasons to be proud, and grateful to be so lucky!!!

    • Julie, for all those reasons you listed, we are so fortunate! I have been to a couple of places that have suffered from wars, and it’s so different from here, with all the scars, physical and emotional.

      Thanks for reading all my books! I’m sure you’d love Helene’s and Jenn’s, too!

  19. Really loved your quote from Ursula le Guin. Goodness me, it’s too late on night for me to think too long and hard about what I’m proud of. So I will just say the first thing that comes to mind: which is my father. He gave a eulogy at his sister’s funeral in late December and he did a sensational job.

    • Sherryl, Ursula le Guin is one of my favourite authors – there is so much wisdom and compassion in her books! I’m sorry that you and your family have had the grief of your aunt’s funeral recently; but glad that your father’s eulogy made you proud. My father was very special, too – another thing to be grateful for!

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