Saturday, 27 March 2021
Sunday, 28 February 2021
Hello, dear readers.
Belated Valentines wishes everyone, whether you spoiled a significant other, or you took the time to spoil yourself.
The blog title is apt this month because frenzied writing covers almost my entire February. What’s kept me so busy is rewrites and editing book two in my Trinket Bay series. A Nose for Trouble has been well-received, which means there’s automatically pressure to produce an as good as or better next book. I mean, that’s not just me, right? That goes for all creatives?
On the plus side, I learned I can get more words down in a day than I previously thought, and having a deadline helps with the procrastination for which authors are also well renowned. A little less daydreaming, a little more action. LOL
I love this new story, and I’m so excited to share it a little later in the year. And for those who enjoyed the previous cover, well, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the second book either.
Ghost hunting in an old building set the scene for an interesting chat at Authors on Stage at the Koorliny Art Centre this month too. My oldest and I attended author Josh Langley's talk on 'Life After Death' and his fascination with 'the other side' he's had since childhood. He and hostess, author Monique Mulligan shared a lively discussion which had the audience enthralled. Unfortunately, or fortunately for some, the rumoured ghost who haunts the dressing rooms backstage didn't make an appearance. Perhaps he was more scared of us...
I also attended a crime scene workshop a few nights back conducted by a professor of chemical forensics who currently specialises in fingerprint studies. It was so good! It was meant to be an hour-long chat, but no one moved a muscle when we hit the ninety-minute mark. And honestly, he could have kept on talking, his topic was so fascinating. I imagine you’ll have realised most movies and television shows get parts of this forensic side of things wrong, whether that’s because of inaccurate information or time/film constraints. Seems we authors don’t always get it right either.
It's also more involved than I thought it would be too. Forensics covers investigators, biologists, university professors / consultants, the police, forensic dentists, forensic historians and even forensic palaeontology and archaeology. In short, Forensics is a historical science, and not as glamorous as we’re led to believe. But this professor’s audience could not get enough. How cool it would have been to be allowed to visit the university and witness some of their experiments and tested theories. Let’s hope that tiny peek shines through in our books. :)
I also had the incredibly stupid idea to clean out the youngest’s room. Let’s just say that said child may be conducting some forensic experiments of their own...
Scam at Old River by Mike MacKay
BASED ON TRUE EVENTS
After a night out celebrating the conclusion of a successful assignment, computer forensic expert Jack Rhodes wakes up with a beautiful woman in his bed, an almighty hangover, and someone is pounding on his door. He answers, and the large stranger asks for the woman by name. The stranger goes on the attack. Jack thinks he's in the middle of a relationship drama.
Drawing on his martial arts training, Jack subdues the assailant. He calls the police, but not before learning the woman has hidden incriminating files from a dangerous man. When the police arrive, the woman has disappeared.
Through his connections on the force, Jack volunteers to go undercover and discover the truth. It becomes a dark and menacing path into the hidden underbelly of San Francisco's business and criminal element where murder, exploitation, fraud, and betrayal are a way of life. He needs to make the connections; get the proof he needs and find the woman fast. But to do so means facing his demons, a darkness within, and a past he cannot escape.
This is one of those stories where the pages flow as though the reader is watching an action movie. Plenty of fight scenes, intrigue, and a main character whose back story is every bit as interesting as the present one. And of course, we want to know if he gets the girl.
This contains some fascinating side characters who I’d love to learn more about. One particular female character has a hidden past and cunningness that would make a fabulous story too. I look forward to more from this author.
Hidden in the Light by Ian Cameron Wood
Just as a roller coaster begins a slow climb, Hidden in the Light begins as a safe ride. But its plunges and dizzying corners eventually rattle us through dark twists and turns before bringing us back to the light via extraordinary events.
Through these enthralling, tumultuous pages, shelter is provided under refreshing humour and grace.
In this story, three brothers share their journey with astonishing honesty. They ride with us until the slowing down and seeming safe stop of the roller coaster at the end of the ride. But is it a safe arrival or will we find ourselves pushed over the edge into a final screaming plunge one last time?
There are shocks and unexpected surprises written in these pages as well as a bewilderment that is strangely acceptable in the astonishing events that make this book so compelling.
Regardless of where you are through these pages, this is not an easy book to put down.
This story fascinated me. I had to keep reading.
Told through the eyes of three brothers growing up in Sydney in the seventies, this book follows their individual journeys, sometimes in parallel, and sometimes converging as they share their tragedies and triumphs.
It was a time of relative innocence where the Church ruled, and those who spoke in God’s name held powerful positions. But for the three brothers, this was a time of innocence lost. James, the oldest, looked out for his brothers, but as he matures, personal tragedy would push him away from his close-knit family and from the Church. Andrew, the middle child, struggling to find the balance between his more serious older brother, and his fun-loving younger brother, but determined to follow his own path. And Nathan, the youngest, who witnesses a terrible event, then experiences another horrific event as a young adult, the emotional and mental scars of which he still bears today.
The brothers’ stories confront the reader with their tales of sexual, mental, and emotional abuse in the Church. Though theirs is a dark tale, the grace, humour, and irony of everyday lives, of success, good fortune and wonder is still prevalent.
The Hobo CEO by Shae Marie
Life is full of challenges, and we're always looking for the answers, but what happens when you can't read those all-important clues?
Entrepreneur Shae Marie is a successful businesswoman who received a late diagnosis of Dyslexia in her late twenties. By this time, she'd suffered through school and university, challenged by something she couldn't understand.
Bullied and ridiculed, she fought a battle not only with self-confidence, but to prove to her naysayers she was indeed a resilient and intelligent woman. She couldn't understand why she struggled to read what others seemed to find a breeze. There were other clues that hindered her success, but until that AHA moment where she finally received a diagnosis and could act upon it, Shae Marie found some things challenging.
Now, armed with skills and strategies befitting her lifestyle, Shae Marie has become a successful, confident woman ready to face any obstacle. Things didn't fall into place after her diagnosis, but with resilience, determination, and fortitude, she's gone from strength to strength.
The Hobo CEO shares tips and tricks of running a social enterprise, while offering a glimpse into Shae Marie's life. It touches on her childhood, her determination to succeed at school, university, and at life and culminates into a triumphant moment for both Shae Marie, and all who face the challenges that Dyslexia brings.
What a fantastic insight into living with Dyslexia from a woman determined to live her life with perseverance and resilience and not let her challenges stop her from achieving her goals. Told with humour and honesty, this snapshot into the author’s life shows those who aren’t dyslexic a glimpse of what it’s like to live with this condition. And for those who know all too well the challenges Dyslexia imparts on their lives may find courage and empowerment in this author’s determination to be more than just her diagnosis.
I can now reveal the exciting news I promised to share last month. I entered a short story into Gumnut Press’s 2021 Anthology call out. You may remember I entered their previous one, which resulted in my current Trinket Bay contract. This time, they accepted my story alongside some more fabulous authors. I’m excited to read everyone’s stories, and it’s another story I cannot wait to share with you all. I’m not sure of the release date for this one yet, but I’ll keep you posted.
I also promised to share a recent interview. Here’s the link. :)
So, now that February is gone in a flash, may your March be fabulous, fun, and filled with awesome books. :)
Monday, 25 January 2021
Friday, 25 December 2020
Monday, 30 November 2020
Hello, dear readers.
At last! The blog post I’ve been dreaming of sharing for a long time. I did it! I’m a published author!
Perseverance and persistence have paid off. And being blessed to have connected with an amazing publisher who believes in you and your stories doesn’t hurt either. :)
Launch day was fabulous! Although we had to adhere to Covid restrictions, it was lovely to see all the smiling faces of fellow authors, family and friends who arrived to help me celebrate. It would have been lovely to share this moment with family and friends from back east too, but unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be.
Those who know me well, know how much I need to build up to public speaking. I thought I’d be an emotional mess. I’d even written an apology into my speech for the impending tears. To my surprise (and relief) there were no tears, and I had to edit said speech. Instead, I grinned like a loon when my wonderful publisher and our special guest and mutual friend said such lovely things about the book and about me. (I am still blushing.)
I’m so happy my book is out in the world at last. And I hope everyone who reads it, enjoys Ellie’s and Brennan’s story, and they’re ready for the next book coming out mid-2021.
Thank you again (oh so many times) to my publisher, GUMNUT PRESS, and the equally fabulous author, Ms Carolyn Wren, for officially launching A Nose for Trouble.
Here are the links, and if anyone would like a signed copy, please let me know.
But enough about me. Read on and hear about the fantastic books I enjoyed this month. :)
Wherever You Go by Monique Mulligan
A life-shattering tragedy threatens to tear apart chef Amy Bennet’s marriage. Desperate to save it, she moves with her husband Matt to Blackwood, a country town where no one knows who they are.
Forced to deal with her crumbling marriage and the crippling grief that follows her wherever she goes, Amy turns to what she knows best: cooking. She opens a café showcasing regional seasonal produce, and forms the Around the World Supper Club, serving mouth-watering feasts to new friends. As her passion for food returns, she finds a place for herself in Blackwood. But when a Pandora’s Box of shame and blame is unlocked, Matt gives Amy an ultimatum that takes their marriage to the edge.
Rich with unexpected characters and extraordinary insight, Wherever You Go is a powerful and ultimately uplifting tale of heartbreaking loss, recovery, and redemption.
Wherever You Go is a heart wrenching, soul twisting story that captivates the reader from start to finish.
When Matt’s and Amy’s world is turned upside down, a move to the country to start anew may be all the healing they need. With encouragement from her husband, Amy realises embracing her love of cooking and opening a cafe may be what she needs to move forward. At work, all is right with the world. But at home, it’s her own private hell.
Matt loves Amy more than life itself, but it seems they’ve exchanged one source of heartbreak for another. All his grand plans of reconnecting are falling away to the point where he doesn’t know who ‘they’ are anymore. Work seems more welcoming than home. Heaven knows what it will take to find one another again, and he’s not sure he can deal with any more pain.
What was meant to bring them together, seems to be driving them further apart. And the only people who can fix it are lost in their own worlds of pain and hopelessness.
This is a beautifully written, seamless story of devastating pain, love lost and hope redeemed. Readers won’t want to miss a second of it.
Unseen by Cassie Laelyn
Heaven is his new Hell...
After centuries of torturous visions from Fate, party boy EJ, hides his guilt behind a perfectly crafted visage. When a woman appears in his dreams, full of sunshine and innocence, he thinks it's another punishment. But when the dream warps, EJ must question not only his destiny, but also his aversion to commitment.
Dreaming of a sexy book boyfriend is the closest thing Hailee has to a happily ever after. Years of running from her mom's imaginary demons ensured that. But when tragedy strikes and Hailee's caught in the middle of a brutal war, all her hope falls on the reluctant hero she thought was a fantasy.
As an ancient battle threatens to tear them apart, EJ and Hailee must fight for their happy ending before their nightmares become a reality.
Dreams of a sensual paradise become hellish nightmares when EJ and Hailee meet.
Convinced it’s just another form of torment thanks to Fate’s torturous ‘gift,’ EJ figures the beautiful woman he ‘sees’ is just another of Fate’s cruel games. So, he does what EJ does best–hide behind booze, meaningless relationships, and emotional detachment. When EJ realises Hailee truly exists, all that carefully constructed control disappears.
Hailee’s dreams of a gorgeous, sexy man take on a whole new meaning when she discovers he’s real, and so are the demons her mother’s been hiding her from for years. When EJ rescues her from a disastrous situation, a new world is revealed, and suddenly she can’t tell what’s true and what’s fantasy anymore. All she knows is that she and EJ are in danger, and time is running out for them both.
A new book boyfriend to ‘fall’ for... Not sure I need to add more than that. No? Okay, add a little emotional torture, a swoon worthy guy, a love story that puts your heart through the ringer and a twist that makes you question the meaning of true evil. Good luck stopping at one chapter. My favourite in Ms Laelyn’s series so far.
Vacation in Vegas by Rowena Candlish
Schoolteacher Emma is in Las Vegas on a mission to find the long-lost sister she hasn’t seen since childhood. Instead, she wakes up to find a strange man in her hotel room.
Single dad Lachlan is here to give away his only daughter at her wedding, even if he’s not quite sure how to let her go. Being mistaken for a thief and dragged off by hotel security is not part of his plans, and he can’t forgive the crazy nut job who almost jeopardised his daughter’s big day.
After a disastrous reunion with her sister, Emma makes the biggest mistake of her life, but if Lachlan has his way, this vacation in Vegas just might lead to the happy-ever-after Emma has always dreamed of…
What an intriguing case of mistaken identity. Emotions run high for both Emma and Lachlan as they deal with their emotions over two separate issues that bring them together in an explosion of deep-seated worries and fears. For once, what happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay there. :) A lovely read.
With book one of the Trinket Bay series on its way, I’m busy writing book two–working title–An Ear to the Ground.
Next Saturday myself and other volunteer members from RWA are taking over the RWA Social pages for the day and celebrating all the amazing things we do for RWA. I am looking forward to cheering on my fellow volunteer and their achievements.
We enjoyed our usual triple family birthday event for the month, and I’d better start thinking about Christmas in between writing (and reading).
Until next month, may your hopes and dreams continue to inspire you.