Wednesday, 25 July 2018

75. Adulting 101

Welcome :)

Time waits for no one, especially parents, it seems. My little babycake is not so little anymore. There’s another adult in the house and I can’t believe my girl is now a young woman of eighteen. It happened so fast. Too fast, in fact.

I never believed in the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ adage when it came to children growing up, but that’s exactly what it feels like. I swear she was just a babe in arms last week, a toddler on Tuesday, high school by Thursday, and then BAM! All grown up. It’s surreal. And to think I’ll be addressing this moment again in a few ‘short’ years. For now, I’ll have to accept she’s a big girl capable of making her own decisions and living with the rewards and consequences of those choices. I’m still not ready.

Now, I’m not a poet by any means, but I wrote my daughter a little something for her special day, which made her cry. (heh heh). I mean, it was a very emotional moment for us all. I’m sharing this moment with the acknowledgment it’s saying more about me and my fragility than hers.

Eighteen years have come and gone,
But make no mistake,
You will for now and always be,
My little Babycake.

I loved you the second I felt you move,
You danced right under my heart,
So maybe you dislocated a rib or two,
But you were mine right from the start.

I couldn’t take my eyes off you,
I barely slept a wink,
You were walking and talking before I knew it,
And I swear I didn’t blink.

You were the apple of Father’s eye,
And you copied his famous ‘beer face,’
While Grandma listened as you sang,
And said, ‘This girl’s going someplace.’

Nana dressed you all in pink,
She loved you just to bits,
Ganda taught you all about the sun,
And how it shone out where you sits...
(Where does the sun shine?)

You were such a happy, smiling child,
And you really had a flair,
For putting pots upon your head,
And messing up your hair.
(Just like your Dad.)

Going to kindy was so traumatic,
And of course, I mean for me,
But you couldn’t wait to tell me about your day,
And your boyfriends, one, two, and three.

Along came school and they confirmed,
Exactly what we knew,
You had a voice that had to sing,
So, it was into the choir for you.

It made me so proud to see you,
Up there on that stage,
And we loved the week of Eisteddfod,
When you starred daily on the newspaper page.

You’ve grown into such a lovely soul,
And it really makes me smile,
To know you’re at the beginning,
Of adventures all in style.

I love while we look nothing alike,
Inside you’re just like me.
From random songs to movie quotes,
We’re twinsies ‘internally.’

I don’t like this letting go,
Although I know I must,
Because I still see the little girl,
That I love so very much.

Eighteen years have come and gone,
But make no mistake,
You will for now and always be,
My little Babycake.

And yes, she really did dislocate a rib while I was pregnant with her. It still pops out if I ‘move wrong.’

We had a special weekend guest for the RWA Aspiring group this month – Ms Kate Cuthbert, Editor of Escape Publishing, Harlequin’s Digital Imprint.  She was awesome! Ms Cuthbert had a fabulous answer for every question the group had and we gained valuable insight into the world of publishing and editing. Ms Cuthbert will be at the RWA conference in August, and hopefully I’ll meet her in person in September where she’s a guest presenter and taking pitches at the Rockingham Writers Conference. :)

Book Reviews

Burning Fields by Alli Sinclair

Romeo and Juliet set in Queensland's sugar cane fields in 1948, as the daughter of an Anglo-Australian family falls for an Italian immigrant against the wishes of her family.

1948. The world is struggling to regain a sense of balance after the devastation of World War II, and the sugar cane–growing community of Piri River in northern Queensland is no exception.

As returned servicemen endeavour to adjust to their pre–war lives, women who had worked for the war effort are expected to embrace traditional roles once more.
Rosie Stanton finds it difficult to return to the family farm after years working for the Australian Women's Army Service. Reminders are everywhere of the brothers she lost in the war and she is unable to understand her father's contempt for Italians, especially the Conti family next door. When her father takes ill, Rosie challenges tradition by managing the farm, but outside influences are determined to see her fail.
Desperate to leave his turbulent history behind, Tomas Conti has left Italy to join his family in Piri River. Tomas struggles to adapt in Australia–until he meets Rosie. Her easygoing nature and positive outlook help him forget the life he's escaped. But as their relationship grows, so do tensions between the two families until the situation becomes explosive.
When a long–hidden family secret is discovered and Tomas's mysterious past is revealed, everything Rosie believes is shattered. Will she risk all to rebuild her family or will she lose the only man she's ever loved?

In a time where reputation is everything and a woman’s place was meant to be in the home, freedom and independence is hard to realise when you’ve had a taste of it and find you want more.

Rosie, a mathematical genius, knows what it takes to run the sugarcane business on the farm where she’s spent most of her life. During the war she had a chance to shine in the city, but that was snatched away from her. Home again, she’s desperate to prove to her father she has what it takes to make a difference, but even after his stroke, he’s still stuck in his traditional, archaic ways. The only man who shows any signs of treating her like an equal has a dark past of his own, one he’s reluctant to share. But Rosie and Tomas are entwined by more than their desires, and it will take a lot of twists and turns before the truth is revealed.

Burning Fields is a beautiful story. This story transported me back to my home state, to the smell of the cane fields, and reminded me of the stories my mother told of growing up in Far North Queensland. How eye-opening to remember there was no running to the corner store to buy things because you had to make them from scratch. I don’t think I would have lasted long in that era because I’m as stubborn as Rosie, but I do love that sense of cooking, of the family being together and baking or making a meal together – not that I’m a MasterChef by any means. LOL

Rosie’s frustration for being considered less because she was female screamed from the pages, and I can only imagine how working during the war effort and then being told to go back to the kitchen would have had many women during that era want to tear their hair out.

I loved Rosie’s and Tomas’s romance though it drove me nuts how they struggled to really talk to each other, but it fitted perfectly with the times. I cried for Alex, and I cried for what Tomas experienced too. I loved the revelations as they unfolded, and I especially loved the moment the title made complete sense. :) Learn more about Ms Sinclair here. :)

Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King


The short story OBITS won the 2016 Edgar for best short story.
The No.1 bestselling author delivers an 'outstanding' (USA Today) collection of thrilling stories, introducing each one with a fascinating piece on when, where or how he came to write it.
There is a treasure here for every reader: a man who keeps reliving exactly the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again; a columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries; a poignant tale about the end of the human race and a firework competition between neighbours which reaches an explosive climax. And, exclusive to this paperback edition (and the eBook from 6 September), a brand-new story 'Cookie Jar'.
'I made them especially for you,' says King. 'Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.'


There are twenty short stories in this collection which will dazzle, daunt, and dare you to turn out the light. There were times I was sure I knew the ending only to have Mr King twist the story on its head. It was brilliant to get a glimpse of the stories that eventually became novels, and others made me grateful they ended when they did.

One of my favourites was Dune - An old judge is organising his will. He tells his lawyer about a magic sand dune on a small island he’s known about since childhood, something he’s kept secret all this time. In the sand he sees the names of people who are about to die. This was one of the few times I managed to guess the ending, but it didn’t make it any less chilling or exciting.

Batman and Robin have an Altercation, however, broke my heart. It tells of a son taking his senile father out for lunch. While their relationship isn’t the best and his son takes his father out as a sense of duty than any sense of love – he’s spent years playing second best to his older brother, now deceased, and never measuring up in his father’s eyes - there is still something to their relationship that made me think of the changing shifts of power. Their roles have reversed. The son cuts up his father’s food, helps him go to the bathroom, and cares for him, and the father goes in and out of mental stability (and time periods) as he tries to comprehend the world around him and wonders who is looking after him. On the drive home, they’re caught up in a serious issue of road rage, and that’s when the father steps up and reclaims his role of protector. Seconds later, his mind is far away once more. 

It made me think of my mother and how we are now caring for her. Her mind is not always with us, and she lingers longer in that time when she was young, a time before her children even exist. While the relationship in the story is nothing like the one I have with my mum, it certainly made me see this story from a deeper, more emotional perspective.

What I enjoyed the most from Bad Dreams was Mr King’s anecdotes at the beginning of each story. The insight into his thoughts and the events that inspired his stories was brilliant. How something so mundane and everyday could be twisted and warped into something so vivid and thought provoking, and has one looking over their shoulders at times is fantastic. I still feel the magic of Mr King’s stories now as I did when I was fourteen. But I think I was braver then.


Angel Fire & Wild Lightning - Arcane Awakenings Books 1 & 2 by Shelley Russell Nolan

A hidden past. An uncertain future.

In Angel Fire, all Andie wants is acceptance, a task made difficult thanks to the nightmare that's plagued her for the past fifteen years. Then she learns it's a terrifying memory of the night she lost her identical twin. When Angel's spirit calls to her, begging to be saved, Andie is determined to discover what really happened the night her sister died.

The story continues in Wild Lightning, when Celeste wakes in a mental institution with no memory of who she is or why she can shoot lightning from her fingertips. Spurred on by a vision of Angel, Celeste escapes and searches for answers as her captors close in.

Andie and Celeste must battle ruthless adversaries as they seek to uncover the truth, but will this lead to a future more dangerous than what they've left behind?

Arcane Awakenings – a fast-paced paranormal fantasy novella series.

I reviewed Angel Fire in a previous blog. ( Ms Nolan has released it together with her second book, Wild Lightning.

Wild Lightning -

A wild ripple of energy brings a cationic patient back from the dark recesses of her mind. ‘Angel’ is real. But how to escape her physical prison when her identity, her life, and her mind are still locked within. Instinct show her the way and Celeste, if that is indeed her name, manages to flee, stopping anyone standing in her way by shocking them. Where this power came from, she hasn’t a clue. All she knows is once she finds Angel, everything will be all right. But when she finds Angel, Celeste realises the danger is only just beginning because the one person she thought she could trust, may be her greatest threat.

Another wonderful story by Ms Nolan, which continues the horrifying legacy of the Woods Estate and its terrifying experimentation on gifted teens. Some shocking twists (pun intended) bring about a startling climax to a story that leaves the reader alternating between loathing and cheers. I can’t wait for the next in the series. :) You can learn more about Shelley here. :)

What’s on my reading list

I’m almost finished Alan Baxter’s – Alex Caine Trilogy, but more on that next month. :)


I’m taking over my local writing group for the next couple of months while our regular organiser is enjoying a long holiday. :) We’ve been working on describing characters and scenes to engage the senses of the reader to help improve our story telling. The group has been sharing brilliant work and it’s wonderful to hear their short stories and paragraphs. This month, that expansion of words is about to change because I’m doing a workshop on paring back paragraphs and sentences to get rid of any unnecessary words and phrases. I’m sure they’re up to the challenge. Whether I’m welcome to take the following month’s workshop remains to be seen. LOL

My reading list was (happily) waylaid this month by beta-reader requests, so I haven’t worked through my list yet, and two more of my favourite authors have releases coming up from series I adore (double yay). I’m certainly in no danger of running out of things to read. I’ll also be busy in August copyediting for some clients. That will keep me out of mischief – and housework too if I’m lucky. LOL

My novel has been beta read and ready for another round of editing because my beta readers have given me brilliant advice once again. I do, however, face the prospect of deleting 4,000 words from the manuscript, which is a bittersweet feeling indeed, but I’ll think a little more on that before I act. Manuscript mourning is a thing, right?

I’ve heard back from one of my competitions, and while I didn’t place, the feedback was brilliant, and from one judge in particular, a real eye opener. I’d used a word to describe a character that, to me, was a huge compliment and a positive trait. At this judge’s comment, I did a little research and discovered it means something completely different and is offensive to that community. So, there’s more rewriting in my future. I’m pleased it was pointed out to me at this stage so I had a chance to fix it.

Well now that I’m the mother of an adult child, and feeling decidedly ancient for it, I’m going to sit in my wheelchair, (hey, my computer chair has wheels) stoop over my keyboard, (that explains the sore neck and headaches) and put on my copy-editing hat, (okay, I need a hat) and get cracking, (which is another subject entirely.)

Until next time, may wonderful books take you to fantastical places. :)

Monday, 25 June 2018

74. Privateers Ahoy!

Welcome :)

It’s a blessing to belong to such a creative collective as authors and writers. When you meet established authors, who are so giving of their time, experience, and wisdom, so generous in their encouragement of others, it’s always a struggle to say thank you for the opportunity in a way that matches that generosity. It’s more challenging when they graciously agree to spend time with you on your little blog. :)

This month the RWA Aspiring writers spent time with one of these special people - Historical Romantic Author, Ms Elizabeth Ellen Carter. :) Ms Carter answered all the hard questions, going beyond expectation with her answers, shared her experiences and a little of herself, and generally encouraged the group to follow their writing dreams.

It’s always exciting to know someone you admire goes through similar processes in creating their stories that you do. It validates the feeling you’re not wasting your time, or perhaps thinking you’re not really a writer until you learn everyone has doubts and rejections. It’s encouraging when you know they’ve let nothing stop them from achieving their dreams, and then they give back to those who are still learning the processes and making the mistakes they may have experienced.

So, it gives me great pleasure to present Question Time with Ms Carter, and to share news, an excerpt, and the blurb for her latest release – Shadow of the Corsairs – Book Three of the Heart of the Corsairs Series. :)

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I always wanted to write. When I was about 10 years old, I started writing my first book about a girl detective because I’d run out of Nancy Drew Mysteries to read. In high school, I loved English and the short story writing component of every exam was my favourite. Back then the only viable option for me to be paid for my writing was to become a journalist and I was fortunate enough to be awarded a cadetship straight out of high school.

Do you have support from family and friends?

My darling husband is my biggest supporter. We were journalists together and he was one of my first editors. Today, he is the very first to see my books and is my first-port-of-call editor.

Do you have a particular writing style?

I can’t honestly tell. I think it would take someone a step or two removed to identify it. I try to write stories that are rich in world building with fully fleshed out characters in a story which is as much adventure/suspense as it is romance.

What are your favourite story writing genres and authors and what draws you to them?

I love historical romance. I love bring history to life and the best way to do that is by creating characters that readers can relate to but who, nonetheless, are authentic to their time and place. I love discovering more real history through well-told historical fiction and historical romance.

Where can we buy or see your works?

I’m published on Amazon. All of my books are here - Readers can keep up with my new series on my web site –

Can you tell us what are you working on at the minute?

I’m starting a new historical romantic adventure series called The King’s Rogues. The first book is Live And Let Spy. And it connects to my recently completed Heart of the Corsairs series.

How much research do you do?

My hubby jokes that it is 20 minutes research for 5 minutes writing, so considering I try to write 1000 words in two hours and my books are about 100,000 words, so... 48,000 hours? I’m not sure it’s really that much (I have to eat and sleep some time).
What I try to do is spend the first few weeks immersing myself into the time and place, then starting with the world building.

Why do you write?

I would go mad without a creative outlet. I can’t sing, I can’t dance and I can’t play an instrument, so it looks like writing is it!

Do you have a writing routine?

I try to sit down for two hours each weeknight to get 1000 words and then try to get 2000 on Friday (my day off) and the weekend. I’m happy if I can get 10,000 words a week. I go back and read my story notes, then the previous chapter and begin again from where I left off.

Do you ever get writer’s block and if so, how do you get through it?

A writers block usually means there is something wrong with a technical aspect of the story. Perhaps the scene is in the wrong POV, perhaps the characters don’t have sufficient motivation, or they’re whinging about the same thing they were in the previous three chapters – that means nothing has changed. If that happens, I take a break for a day or two and let the characters rehearse various scenarios in my head until the solution presents itself.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love antiques and collectables so I like to visit lots of markets and Op Shops and see if I can find a bargain. I haven’t done too badly over the years. When I’m not doing those things, I love going camping with my husband and getting away from busyness and technology for a while.

Shadow of the Corsairs - Excerpt:

“Have you seen Hardacre? He’s been missing for three days.” Jonathan could not hide the note of accusation in his voice.
Elias stopped sweeping. He mopped his brow and leaned on the broom. He looked equally irritated.
“The last time I saw him, he told me Ahmed Sharrouf had returned to Palermo and made contact.”
Bidatam! Jonathan let the profanity roll around in his head a moment before he verbally vented. “What is that pale-headed idiot think he’s playing at?”
“It’s Kaddouri. Sharrouf has news he would only share with Kit.”
“And you let him go alone?”
“No, I didn’t let him go alone,” Elias bit back. Jonathan took that as evidence of the man’s own concern. “I followed them. Two of Sharrouf’s men jumped me. Now I have a goose egg on the back of my skull for my troubles. Now make yourself useful and grab another broom.”
Jonathan obliged. Soon, both men were scrubbing the deck of the Terpsichore, joining other members of the crew, equally hard at work at making the ship spotless.
“So what’s the plan?” Jonathan asked.
“Kit said to stay put. He left sealed orders to be opened in three months if he didn’t return. In them, he said if there’s been no word from him in all that time, we sell everything and distribute the money to the crew.”
“You opened his orders? I never figured you as a rule breaker, Preacher.”
“I never follow stupid rules.”
Elias glanced across at him at they worked. “Gus is checking records with the harbor master to try to find out which ship Sharrouf came in on. Giorgio has taken a couple of men to scour the taverns for information.
“And while we’re at it, where have you been for the past two days? You never returned with us after Nico’s wedding. I assumed you were staying with Morwena and her family. Yesterday, I found out that she hasn’t seen you.”
“I needed time to think.”
“Did it help?”
“I don’t know.”
And he really didn’t know. Morwena’s accusation that night had cut deep – partly because she was right.
He wanted Morwena with a passion and was swept along by her own. He could think of a hundred reasons why he loved her and only one reason why he shouldn’t.
The ghost of Mellesse came between them still.
More and more frequently in that shadow place of his dreams, he would find himself making love to one woman and waking up alongside another. It did no good to tell himself he was not responsible for what went on in his mind during those nocturnal hours.
Was he ready to remarry? Part of him cried yes! Another part was afraid – afraid to give his whole heart, his whole life to another, only have it brutally and cruelly ripped away from him again. If he were to lose Morwena as he had lost Mellesse, he would not be able to bear it.

Shadow of the Corsairs - blurb

The Past Casts a Shadow Over a Second Chance For Love….
Palermo, 1810

Morwena Gambino is struggling to keep her family’s business going against mounting troubles. Her widowed father, once shrewd, is now increasingly forgetful, letting debts mount and disavowing his sons. Morwena runs the shop behind his back, forced to hide her enterprise not only from her father but also her bitter older brother.

In Tunisia, Tewodros “Jonathan” Afua is struggling to stay alive. Once an Ethiopian prince, he is a captive of the corsairs who slaughtered his wife and children. When a US naval bombardment provides an opening for escape, Jonathan falls in with a seemingly deranged English pirate. Aboard Kit Hardacre’s rundown ship with its ragtag crew, Jonathan learns the real reason he was taken by slavers.

Reluctantly joining Hardacre’s crew, he meets Morwena in Palermo. The fiery young Sicilian woman is the opposite of his quiet reserve, but he is attracted to her despite mourning for his late wife. As he and Morwena grow closer, it emerges that they have something in common – secret betrayal by those close to them – and they must count what they’re willing to risk for a future together.

Available on Amazon – all stores:

Thank you again, Ms Carter, for spending time with the Aspiring group, as well as being so generous to share your exciting news of your new release, and to answer questions on my blog. :)

Book Reviews

Moon Bound (Book Two of the Wolf Bound series) by Leisl Leighton

One pack, one coven, a destiny intertwined...
Five hundred years ago, facing extinction, a group of powerful witches united to create a pact with the Were to save witch–kind. The pact expelled an ancient evil, known only as the Darkness, that was blocking the Were from their wolves. With the Darkness destroyed, the Packs and their Covens grew strong as they thrived beside each other in their brand–new world.
But the Darkness was not destroyed.
Wiccan Healer–Witch Bronwyn Kincaid wants a quiet life. Her new powers have other ideas. Her increased healing magic and empathy mean she can't ignore the plight of River Collins, a wolf brought up thinking the animal inside him is an evil he must forever suppress. If Bronwyn can't control her powers and help River accept his wolf, the evil Darkness that hunts the Were will use them to destroy those they love.

When healer Bron agreed to help her friend and powerful witch, Skye Collins, stop an evil being obsessed with stealing their magic, she never expected a powerful boost to her own magic in return. If she can just gain control of it, Bron knows she can help heal Skye’s twin brother, River. And the attraction she has for him is so not the reason she wants to help, right?

River’s soul fractured the night he and his twin were almost kidnapped when they were children. Those monsters did something to him that night, changed him, and opened him up to true evil. He spent his formative years in a drugged state of repression, but now the evil within is growing stronger, longing to be free. It’s so hungry for destruction, so thirsty for blood, River’s afraid it will gain control and destroy everything and everyone he loves, especially the one woman who’s sworn to make him whole again – Bron.

With River so desperate to keep his distance, and Bron determined to get close enough to help, it takes more than a battle of stubbornness and determination to keep these two apart – a battle that both good and evil are determined to win.

Bron and River’s story tugs at more than just your heart, it pulls at your soul. These two have so much to learn about love and relationships, to trust again, and be open to the truth that sometimes you want to shake them and say, ‘get on with it already.’ But such things take time, and Ms Leighton allows her characters to stumble and fall before they find their way to the truth. I'm looking forward to book 3. :)

The Ceph Sector (Shamans & Shifters Space Opera Book 5) by Jenny Schwartz

The legendary Ceph have been in stasis for forty-two millennia. In a centyr, they'll wake. History remembers them as an unstoppable force, employing a mysterious power to decimate sentient life on the planets they attacked.

Jaya’s first mission as a new Shaman Justice is to lead an expedition into the perilous Ceph Sector. If she can learn how to contain or fight the sha-energy-using Ceph, Galaxy Proper might let them live. If not, destroying the Ceph’s home world, with all of them on it, will prevent the Ceph from ever waking.

Jaya will do anything to avoid the annihilation of an entire sentient species. But she has no idea what her compassionate instincts will cost her. She has a century in which to save the Ceph—unless they wake early.
“The Ceph Sector” is a compelling science fiction novel featuring aliens, alien politics, and secrets that will destabilize the galaxy.
Jaya’s first mission is far from simple, and she can’t help but think that’s intentional. However, she’s out to prove that humans belong in Galaxy Proper, so she wants to get this right. A pity then the powers-that-be refuse to let her pick her own crew. Instead, they throw together a band of Galaxy representatives that are not known for their tolerance toward each other, let alone a species as mysterious and formidable as the Ceph. Though her mate is by her side, Jaya must learn the difficult task of peacekeeping, negotiation, and leadership – and they haven’t even left base camp yet.

I am in awe of Ms Schwartz’s writing. The way she’s woven elements of previous books of this series to reach this amazing conclusion (if it has indeed concluded ;)) astounds me. All the pieces of the puzzle have come together in a way readers will be alternating between cheering and hiding their hands to stop themselves from biting their nails. Ms Schwartz never disappoints me with her story telling, and Ceph Factor is no different. :)

Her Outback Christmas by Rose Celeste

New Yorker, Tess Finlay, craves escape from the city for Christmas. The Australian outback seems like the perfect choice. Or not. She can cope with super-sized spiders and kamikaze kangaroos. The real danger is enigmatic chopper pilot, Matt. He’s rude and irritating, but there’s vulnerability under the tough exterior and hot body. A fatal combination she vows to steer clear of.
Matt Carter doesn’t do commitment, for very good reason. Which makes Tess a problem. Sparky wit wrapped in a delectable body is hard to resist, but he knows how to keep his distance.
It should be easy to avoid each other for a couple of weeks.  What could possibly go wrong?
A light holiday romance, give or take a bit of mortal danger.

Tess Finlay came to Australia to escape the ‘dangers’ of New York only to discover trouble of a different kind. How to stay safe in a harsh, but stunningly beautiful climate is drummed into Tess on a daily basis. It’s fine coming from her new friends, but why does it sound like Matt can’t wait to see the back of her? And why does she care?

Matt Carter has had a rough life and he’s not about to let anyone close enough to learn the reason why, especially the beautiful, sassy American he’s sure is more trouble than she’s worth. After all, she’ll be leaving in a few weeks – at least that’s what he’s trying to tell himself. A pity then that fate and Mother Nature have a different agenda entirely.

Constantly thrown together, and finding each other simultaneously frustrating yet hard to resist, it’s going to take some terrifying situations to make Tess and Matt admit the truth. And in the far North, anything can happen.

This made me smile. I love the Crocodile Dundee vibe. Even the characters make a few jokes regarding the movie. This is a sweet, romantic story with a little dash of spice. Perfect for romance readers who’d like to know a little more about Australia’s far North West. :)

Ms Celeste is currently working on her website. :) but you can find her Amazon author page here –

What I'm reading

I’ve started Alli Sinclair’s latest release – Burning Fields – OH WOW!
Stephen King’s – Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Shawn Inmon’s – The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver


No workshops this month, but I’m now booked for a writing convention in early September, and I’ve bought my tickets for the West Coast Writing Festival in early November. I’m so excited to be attending workshops and looking starry-eyed at some amazing authors – hopefully without a stalker-like glaze.

One of these workshops is going to push me way out of my comfort zone. In fact, I’m already questioning why I’ve done this to myself, but I put in my selection and pressed SEND before I could change my mind. So, I’ll be attending a workshop on public speaking. I already feel sick. But I will try my best to get through it, and hey, I only have to think about it for the next ten weeks – eep!

I’ve also been beta reading for some wonderful writers enjoying a chapter swap, a novella, two novels, as well as a couple of short stories for competition entries. I can’t wait until their book babies are out in the world just as I’m keen to hear how the others did in their competitions. :)

Apart from filling my reading quota, I’ve sent my short story away, and my other short story is on its second draft for the other competition I found. The novel I am rewriting is almost done and I have at least one victim, er, beta reader, waiting in the wings. Most of the competitions I’ve entered will release their results in August. I do hope I have good news to share with you, but if not, I know there’ll be some valuable feedback coming my way.

For now, it’s back to work, so until next time, let beautiful words be the balm that soothes your soul. :)