15 December 2013

Our Christmas Tree

Wishing all our friends, wherever you may be in the world, all the best for the festive season and beyond.

Tree crafted by Alan (using fallen eucalypt branches) and decorated by Vicki. We like to be a bit different.

Alan and Vicki xx

06 August 2013

On My Bookshelf: Thirst by L A Larkin

ThirstThirst by L.A. Larkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Snow algae. Look at the colours: the pink algae, the white ice, the blue sky – it’s breathtaking. It’s untouched. Antarctica is like the Garden of Eden before man cocked it up.”Thirst

The blurb doesn’t do this impressive environmental thriller justice. Based on that alone, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book. So thank you to everyone who recommended it.

This action-packed thriller has it all: a unique setting, fast pace, engaging characters (especially Maddie and Luke), a high body count, understated sexual tension and penguins. I’d even go as far as to say it’s heart-pounding – mine certainly was at times.

Thirst is both entertaining and informative. What makes it even more compelling is that the scenario is terrifyingly plausible. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” springs to mind. We can only hope the real life Maddies and Lukes continue to prevail.

A must-read.

View all my reviews

11 July 2013

5 Questions with BookBuzzr

This Q&A is more targeted at writers, though readers may also find it of interest.

Please join me at BOOKBUZZR where I answer the following five questions:
  1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your journey as a writer?
  2. Who designs your book covers and what kind of a process do you follow when you design your book cover?
  3. How do you divide your time between your writing and promotional activities?
  4. What’s your latest book Bitter Nothings all about?
  5. You are in the happy position where it’s not too difficult for you to get reviews for your book. At the time of this interview, your books have anywhere from 25 to 66 reviews. Do you have any tips for a new author looking to get more book reviews?

BOOKBUZZR builds widgets, tools and technologies to help you market your book like a pro. The BookBuzzr blog provides practical advice on book promotion and marketing.

03 July 2013

Stories without words...

Moving stories all told without words. I hope they touch you as much as they touched me.

27 June 2013

Story ideas, characters and real people

Today I'm over at Donna Fasano's blog, talking a little about where I get my story ideas from and basing characters on real people. Hope you'll pop over and say hello.

Donna Fasano is a three time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, and a Golden Heart finalist. Her books have sold over 3.6 million copies worldwide and have been published in nearly two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #17.

14 June 2013

On My Bookshelf: Mad Men, Bad Girls by Maggie Groff

Mad Men, Bad GirlsMad Men, Bad Girls by Maggie Groff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I can’t describe what it is that makes Byron special; there’s an intangible quality that’s difficult to define. Apart from the outstanding natural beauty, there’s a soul that seeps into your bones. Byron is an eclectic mix—cultured and feral, chamomile and gin, tattoo and Gucci. With attitude.” -- Mad Men, Bad Girls

Scout Davis, a diabetic, tea-drinking journalist, lives in Byron Bay, her only company while her partner is away working in Afghanistan a rescued cat she calls Chairman Meow. She’s investigating a rumour that an American cult has established itself somewhere in the Gold Coast hinterland. When she discovers a childhood friend of her daughter’s has been caught up with the group, it becomes personal.

For me, it rambled a little at the start, which I realise was all to do with story and character set-up, but it did make me itch to get to the guts of the story. However, once into it, I didn’t want to put the book down.

Mad Men, Bad Girls is a light-hearted, entertaining mystery laced with that quintessential irreverent Aussie humour. The characters, none of whom are perfect with maybe the exception of Chairman Meow, are real and relatable. A most enjoyable read.

I look forward to reading Good News, Bad News.

View all my reviews

30 April 2013

Drawing on the past...

Have you checked out Kindle Books and Tips yet?

"The Kindle Books and Tips blog has a simple purpose to provide an interactive blog where you will receive tips to maximize your Kindle experience, author interviews, articles from the author’s take on the eBook world, links to special and discounted Kindle books, and the heads-up on the numerous books, short stories, and more available to read (and listen to) on your Kindle for no charge from numerous sites in addition to Amazon."

Every week they have a "Meet the Author" feature. This week it's yours truly. I really wanted to make this different from other posts I've done, so this one includes information about me that I've never revealed in public before but that I draw on in my writing.

21 April 2013

On My Bookshelf: Inheritance by Kate Loveday

InheritanceInheritance by Kate Loveday
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Cassie kicked at the parched earth with the toe of her boot. Spurts of dust flew up. ‘It seems hard to believe that this is usually covered with green feed. With everything so dry I guess we’re lucky to have as many calves as we’ve had this year.’” –Inheritance

Set in Far Northern Australia, Inheritance is an engaging romantic mystery. It is wonderfully sensory with a rich sense of place – it couldn’t be set anywhere but Australia – with a cast of interesting and well-drawn characters. Cassandra Taylor, Inheritance’s heroine is no meek country girl able to be pushed around. More than anything, this story is about her journey from girl to woman.

Highly recommended. I look forward to reading more from Kate Loveday.

View all my reviews

10 April 2013

New Book Covers

Sleight Malice and Brittle Shadows have new covers more in keeping with my other titles. I really like them. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

11 February 2013

On My Bookshelf: Big Horn Storm by Kim McMahill

Big Horn StormBig Horn Storm by Kim McMahill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“At the moment, she had much more to fear than the weather or a wild animal. With the soldiers on the move, her grandfather’s health deteriorating and winter approaching, Niki couldn’t help but feel they were on the brink of losing the battle to survive.” – Big Horn Storm

Fast-paced, action-packed adventure with just the right balance of romance and suspense that kept me turning the pages late into the night. I also loved the strong sense of place – a character in its own right – and vivid descriptions.

The only negative for me was the frequent point-of-view switches mid scene. As skilfully done as it was, it still jarred. However, I believe that this is a convention common to the romance genre.

I look forward to reading more of Kim McMahill’s work.

View all my reviews

06 February 2013

On My Bookshelf: Rough Justice by Robin Bowles

Rough JusticeRough Justice by Robin Bowles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While not a prerequisite, Rough Justice will be more meaningful for those familiar with Australia’s high profile murder cases e.g. Jennifer Tanner, Jaidyn Leskie, Peter Falconio, to name a few.

The information presented about Bradley Murdoch (convicted for the murder of Peter Falconio) certainly had me questioning my stance on the case and the safety of his conviction.

There was some repetition from chapter to chapter, though the book’s structure almost made this necessary – I read it from beginning to end, but a reader could pick and choose what to read and still have all the requisite background.

Highly recommended for true crime buffs interested in the Australian legal system and its shortcomings. Robin Bowles is one of my favourite true crime writers.

View all my reviews

22 January 2013

Two Birds Now Available Free at Smashwords

My short mystery TWO BIRDS is now free in multiple formats at Smashwords:

Kristine Abbey lies unconscious and bleeding on her kitchen floor. Crouched next to her with his hands clamped over the knife wound in her abdomen, her husband, Daniel, screams at the couple’s sister-in-law – and his ex-mistress – rooted in the doorway. Time slips away…

3,300 words

17 January 2013

Digital Book Today: Weekly Featured Great Reads

Digital Book Today's Weekly Featured Great Reads:

16 January 2013

FREE AT KOBO: Two Birds - A Short Mystery

Looking for a quick read? My short mystery TWO BIRDS is now free at Kobo:

Kristine Abbey lies unconscious and bleeding on her kitchen floor. Crouched next to her with his hands clamped over the knife wound in her abdomen, her husband, Daniel, screams at the couple’s sister-in-law – and his ex-mistress – rooted in the doorway. Time slips away…

3,300 words