Hello dear readers. Can you believe it’s been twelve months since my family made the big move west? I can’t. I’m not sure where the time went, but we did manage some exploring of our new state.
We visited an interesting little place known as Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley. Now, few people know how Gnomesville came to be. Some say it started as a joke. Some say a statue was left behind and people began leaving gnomes and other ornaments there so it wouldn’t feel lonely. It’s not lonely now considering there are an estimated five thousand gnomes there, and tourists are leaving more ornaments behind with each visit. While my youngest loved the place, and so did the many other kids scrambling around, I can’t say Gnomesville was my kind of town. Maybe it’s my paranormal side showing, but there were too many pairs of eyes following my every move...
Fortunately, our trip to the valley led to a more interesting place (for me) and we wound up at the Moody Cow Brewery. I’m giving away a family secret here – my youngest has a changeable temperament, and her nickname is Moo Cow, so we had a big laugh when we saw the name of the brewery. My youngest, however, didn’t understand what was so funny. After a delicious lunch, I came home with a small keg of their homemade chilled cider. It was divine. Come to think of it, it’s about time we returned so I can refill my keg. :) I’ll save Gnomesville for the visitors – the lucky devils.
We also ventured to the Perth Zoo. I think meerkats are gorgeous, and I was stunned to learn lemurs really do sit similar to us. I thought that was just in the animated movie, Madagascar, but here’s the photo to prove it.
We also took in the sights of Perth’s main street mall, shops, and laneways. (You can tell we’re not big city folk, right?) And we ventured south to Margaret River and visited a winery, (I’m sensing a pattern here – lol) and we sampled many, many treats at the Chocolate Factory. :)
In my last blog, you would have read about our adventures to Kings Park and Araluen Gardens. The kids settled into their new schools, and my hubby into his new job. We’ve made some great new friends here as well as catching up with a few old friends too. We survived our first ‘real’ winter, well, real for us, and blossomed into our first wildflower filled spring, although we could have done without the hay fever. Now it’s time to discover if there’s some real heat here because our first summer in WA was decidedly cooler than expected. Maybe we’ve acclimatised now. At least I know we won’t be in for a humid Christmas, for no matter how much I miss my family and friends back home, I certainly don’t miss the humidity.
I’m settling in too though. I’ve met one of my writing idols, Jenny Schwartz, whose latest book I’m reviewing. I’ve also met some fabulous authors whose writing I admire, dare I say envy, and like every author I’ve met, there are so many wonderful people here who are generous with their time, advice, and encouragement. It’s been wonderful to meet them in the real world, and not just chatting online. I’ve attended some fabulous workshops and book launches, which leads me to sharing the cover of Rockingham Writers Group’s inaugural anthology – Ripples. :) I love the cover. :)
If anyone in the area is free to attend, we’d love to see you there. :) They have printed copies for the launch, but if there are plans for an e-book version, I’ll let you know. I’m excited to read the other stories and poems, and I hope everyone enjoys my contribution too. :)
ASHER – SCI FI ALIEN ROMANCE (DRAGONS OF RIDDICK) by Mel Teshco
The dragons will search the universe for their one true mate...
Riddich king, Asher Mannett, has more to worry about than the agony of shifting into his dragon form. Tantonics, his alien enemies, will do anything to invade and destroy him and his people, and extract their vital energy.
When the last Riddich stronghold is breached, Asher boards a craft and escapes his planet along with a handful of his people. They crash land on Earth, where a rare few human women can breed with his species, giving his people hope of continuing their genetic line.
Thanks to her now dead fiancé, Luke, Marissa Kinkaid’s life has gone from one of decadent luxury to hardship. But then a huge, wounded dragon bursts into her life and opens her eyes to the dreary existence she’s accepted as her own. A life she no longer wants.
Despite her fear of abandonment, leaving her drought-affected farm with Asher seems far less complicated than facing Asher’s Tantonic enemies. She can’t imagine a life without the big, sexy alien in it. But will she lose him too before they’ve even had a chance at love?
Asher is the king of a destroyed planet. While the few remaining survivors are scattered throughout the universe, he, his sister, and a few of his closest friends have sought sanctuary on Earth. He wished he’d listened to his younger brother, Kadin, but now they’re on the same planet, perhaps they can make amends. But first, he must find safety before the Tantonics, the enemy, or the local inhabitants find him. Injured in the crash landing, he escapes the burning spacecraft and staggers into the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, but could that attraction simply be because he senses in her the ability to renew his decimated race?
Marissa thought love died when her fiancé did and she’d never find happiness again. That changes the moment a giant of a man charges into her life with a look in his eyes that is anything but human. Thoughts of his true nature are brushed aside when she realises he needs help. But that assistance comes at a price because Asher’s enemies are now her enemies, and Marissa’s about to learn her past isn’t all it seems either.
Another delightful story from Ms Teshco that tugs at the heartstrings and keeps her readers turning pages. Oh, and a little bit of her signature naughtiness for added flavour. This is the second in the Dragons of Riddick series and all the twists and turns are just as inviting. Even better, book three is out now. :)
ODD HOURS by Dean Koontz
Intuition has brought Odd Thomas to the quaint town of Magic Beach on the California coast. As he waits to learn why he has been drawn there, he finds work as a cook and assistant to a once-famous film actor who, at eighty, has become an eccentric with as long a list of fears as he has stories about Hollywood’s golden days.
Odd is having dreams of a red tide, vague but worrisome. By day he senses a free-floating fear in the air of the town, as if unleased by the crashing waves. But nothing prepares him for the hard truth of what he will discover as he comes face to face with a form of evil that will test him as never before...
With his supernatural gifts taking the lead, Odd Thomas finds himself far from the town of his birth. He dreams of a cataclysmic event, but nothing makes sense. What’s more puzzling is while he can sense so much death and destruction, the bodachs he associates with these events are nowhere to be seen. And what does it all have to do with the mysterious Annamaria, a young woman who also appears to have a tight grasp on the psychic world? And why, when she asks if he’d die for her, does Odd say yes without the slightest hesitation? In Magic Beach, it’s not clear who’s friend and who’s foe, but if Odd wants to make it out alive, he must learn to tell the difference fast.
This book had a different feel to the previous ones in the series. While I enjoyed it, there wasn’t the same sense of urgency in Odd Hours. I did however, love the short timeframe in which the events took place and the way Odd internalised his experiences. I felt rather than be taken along by the events of the story, he was more proactive. I found a few of the secondary characters intriguing, and I’m keen to discover if they make a reappearance elsewhere in the Odd series. While Odd Thomas remains a fictional character who I wish I could meet, Odd Hours sets its own pace before it reaches its climax. I’m keen to find out what happens next.
COSMIC CATALYST (SHAMANS AND SHIFTERS SPACE OPERA – BOOK 2) by Jenny Schwartz
Everyone has secrets. But some people will risk the galaxy to protect theirs.
When starship shaman Jaya Romanov and her new mate partner, galactic bounty hunter and robot wolf shifter, Vulf Trent, saved the galaxy from the deadly actions of a determined geriatric terrorist, they forgot that old Earth truism: no good deed goes unpunished.
Now, the galaxy is exploding with unexpected aliens, greedy politicians—well, that’s normal enough, it’s what the politicians will attempt that is worrying—and a radically new aspect to sha energy that has the potential to change everything.
And then there’s the mystery of Jaya’s father…who is he? Some big secrets are lurking in Jaya’s past, and to save those she loves, she’ll be forced to risk the galaxy in a shoot ’em up, take-no-prisoners rescue because sometimes there’s no fighting your destiny.
Fortunately, Vulf is always ready for a fight!
Political campaigners use dangerous tactics when members of the Human sector decide they want more power in the Galaxy Proper – a consortium of alien races. The last to join the consortium thanks to another of the alien races taking pity on the humans who’d destroyed their own planet, Jaya and Vulf find themselves political pawns in a game that has dire consequences for all involved. New alliances, old enemies, and those with their own agenda come together in this story of political greed and power. And through it all, Jaya must rely on her shaman gifts and her love for the promise of family that Vulf offers if she’s to succeed where so many others have failed.
I enjoyed this twist in storyline Ms Schwartz used. In fact, I could easily picture the book in my mind as if I was watching a sci fi movie with all its twists, negotiations, double dealing, and humour. There was great attention to detail with the world building for this story, and I can already see how it’s going to work for future stories in the series. All the elements are there. And leading the reader from one book to the next is something Ms Schwartz does so well. And if you click on the link provided, you’ll find the next book in this series has just been released. :)
On my list next month, the next in the Odd Thomas series, Paul Summerhayes’ latest release – Billie the Kid from his Sky Fire Chronicles series, some snippets from the Ripples anthology, and Ms Schwartz’ Shattered Earth. :)
It’s been another busy month, and I’m starting to feel repetitive on that point. There’s several family birthdays in November, and three of them are in my immediate family – and that’s counting one of the dogs. Everyone’s a year older and a year wiser, except the dog, although I suspect two years for a pup is much too young to be wise. Anyway, with everything going on, I must admit I’ve cheated. The baking tins are still packed, so the family enjoyed a store-bought cake this year. This meant they were saved from my questionable attempts at decorating said cake too. :)
My latest editing job involves some strong philosophical themes, so I’m reading a few intense theories. I have the anthology launch to look forward to, and a book launch to attend for a lovely author’s newest release. My writing group will be interesting considering we’re sharing the opening paragraphs of our current works in progress. I look forward to some great feedback there. My personal editing is progressing, but it appears the script I planned to work on may spill over to next year’s goals. You never know, Christmas is a time for miracles, so I may just get it done.
Next month means a free story for you, yay! But until then, may beautiful words fill your souls with wonder. :)