Tuesday, 25 July 2017

63. Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinking

It’s July, and my oldest has turned seventeen. I’m not ready to be giving driving lessons. I’m happy handing that task to the professionals and the Other Half. Less likely to have a panicked, uncertain, what-the-heck-just-happened co-pilot that way, let alone worry how the inexperienced driver is feeling about the crazy lady who’s suddenly invented hand signals to rival ‘the bird’.

As it was school holidays, we took a day trip to a beautiful coastal town called Bunbury where we spent time with a lovely RWA writer, (who’s one my Aspiring eLoop co-hosts) and her son. She and her husband are renovating the most gorgeous old house. It has huge rooms, divine wooden floors, the most beautiful rose bushes out the front, and room for a garden and outdoor entertaining area out the back. Most importantly, and I swear I’m not jealous, she has a wonderful office set up in which to do her writing. Okay, so I’m more than a little jealous. :/

They took us to the marina for lunch, and we had a bittersweet moment as we took in the spectacular views. It was just like the marina back home. The boats, the bustle, the ocean, the water views from the café – it was as though we’d blinked or tapped our heels together three times and muttered something about there being no place like home, and for a moment, there we were. The only difference was that wild westerly wind. I’ve experienced a few cyclones, so I know what it’s like to hear the wind scream to the point you want to scream right along with it. But the wind gusts roaring up from the Antarctic -  let’s just say I had a brand-new hairdo of which the Bride of Frankenstein would be proud.

It also took us longer to get to the car than it did to leave it. I like to think we put a few mime artists to shame crossing the street too. Then we visited a sweet shop where the owners made their lollies on the premises. We may have left there with a not-so healthy sugar hit. :)

We also took a train trip to Perth. It’s a novelty being so close to a capital city. Back home, visiting the capital meant a six-and-a-half-hour drive, crashing at a motel, and being too tired to eat, let alone hit the shops. But here, we’re barely fifty minutes away, can explore the main street mall to our heart’s content, and still be home to sleep in our own beds all in the one day. Bliss! It was here that I made my favourite discovery. Not a department store, although they were a welcome relief from the wind. And not the busking musicians and street magicians. Man, are there some talented people around. We found a REAL book store. We stumbled upon it by chance, but there wasn’t a second thought to descending the narrow stairs and entering that ‘cave of wonders’.

Don’t get me wrong, KINDLE has its place, but it just doesn’t have the sensory delights that a book does. The touch, the smell, the rustle of turning pages, me heavy breathing because I almost fell down the steps in my rush to get into the store. We all left with something to treasure. Even my youngest, who isn’t the biggest fan of reading, (yet) found some books to love. However, for this month, I read two novellas. (Don’t worry KINDLE. I still love you too.) :)

Book Reviews

The Texan and the Egyptian: The Sky Fire Chronicles by Paul Summerhayes. (Prequel)
The Texan and his Confederate friends’ job was simple. Buy weapons for the war effort and transport them home—but nothing is ever that easy.

On a ship in the middle of the Atlantic, the people around the Texan start vanishing. Why? And is the mysterious Egyptian woman involved? Will the Texan be her next victim?

The Sky Fire Chronicles is a fantasy series set in America during the late 1800’s.
Prequel: The Texan and the Egyptian
Book 1: Coming soon

It was supposed to be an easy job watching over the cache of guns and ammunition as they sailed across the Atlantic toward America. His companions weren’t the Texan’s first choice, but they could handle themselves in a fight. He just didn’t expect the fight to find him on the voyage home. One by one, the ship’s crew, and then his men, go missing. The ship’s not that big, but with no bodies to be found, and no clues to their disappearance, the Texan is at a loss what to do. Instinct tells him a beautiful Egyptian priestess is involved, but he doesn’t know how. Now he must decide whether his fellow traveller is friend or foe, because the priestess seems to be the only one who knows what’s happening, and he’s not sure he wants to hear the truth.

What a great start to Mr Summerhayes’ new series. How interesting to combine what touches on Egyptian mythology with the Wild West. I liked the charisma between the Texan and the Priestess, and it will be interesting to see how this leads into the series, because in this world, nothing is as it seems.

Alchemy and Arcana: An Urban Fantasy Novella Collection
 – The Dragon Stone by Paul Summerhayes.
Ryver is descended from an old family of witches and warlocks, but she is young and her magic is weak – not a good thing when you live in a place where dark things prowl the city at night.

Falling on hard times, Ryver resorts to petty theft in an effort to escape the confines of the wicked city – a city full of violence drugs, death, and old memories. By chance, she ‘finds’ an old box and her life is turned upside down. What she knows and loves is not as it seems.

Will she discover the truth, and escape this veil city before she falls to its growing darkness?

When Ryver ‘finds’ a box a local drug gang has been guarding, she’s disappointed to find it’s just an old chunk of wood. But inside she discovers a beautiful stone that feels like it belongs to her. Then she learns the stone once belonged to her dead father. Bull, the gang leader, isn’t about to let his treasure go. Scouring the city, he terrorises her mother, then kidnaps a street kid who idolises Ryver. His instructions are clear. Bring back the stone or the boy dies. Now Ryver has no choice but to embrace her family’s legacy of magic. Her morals insist she save Liam, but there’s no way she’s letting go of that stone, no matter how much Bull or his mysterious ‘boss’ wants it back or what it costs her to keep it.

Wonderful novella. This was a story I could see play out like a movie in my mind. So much that it ended far too soon. I wanted more. Ryver may have been a tough teen with a heart of gold, but I could see so much for her and her future. Do you suppose if I nag him enough, Mr Summerhayes might consider expanding this story to a novel length version or even a series?

You can nag find more about Paul and his books here - http://www.paulsummerhayes.com/


Ah, that blog title. For my non-Australian readers, ‘Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinking’ is Australian slang for being extremely busy or hard at work, and no, it has nothing to do with alcohol – usually. ;)

What it really means is that I’ve been so busy copy editing, I could only squeeze in two novellas to read and share with you because everything else I’m reading is part of the editing process. And because it’s a paying job, I want to make sure I do it, and the author, justice. Since I’ve been busy doing ‘my job’, I haven’t had time to work on my own stories and the self-editing that’s waiting for me there. So, I’d better get cracking because like the time, tide, and taxes, this editing is waiting for no man (and not this woman either.)

Until next time, happy reading. :)


  1. Well darn! I got all excited at the mention of Boffins and logged myself out! Hope you can see my comment, D. And glad you didn't get blown away by the Antarctic winds :)

    1. LOL Good to know I'm not the only person excited about Boffins. :)

      It's the Fremantle Docker right, not the Fremantle Doctor? I'm not used to the naming of winds like they do here. I'm just glad I haven't been caught in a wind gust while I've been driving.

  2. Sounds like you have been super busy. Hope you get back to your writing soon.

    1. I have to do something until your next book comes out, right? :)

      But yes, super busy but enjoying the extra reading. :)

  3. Teaching the daughter to drive--I was scared for both of us. I didn't say anything when the car started kangaroo hopping, but the wrong noises came out of my mouth anyhow. My daughter got upset. How I wanted to rewind time, and go for absolute silence.

    The Texan & The Egyptian sounds like an unusual and interesting read.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ah the joys of manual cars and kangaroo hops, hey, Ashlyn? I remember those days well. My sister was very patient while teaching me to drive, and she still hates the way I 'corner'. LOL Pity she's too far away to teach her niece.

      It was unusual and interesting. :)