Monday, July 30, 2012

Ways of Love

Read all of my short story, Ways of Love, on  

A short introduction below
  Ways of Love
Beth Herrick was the proverbial spinster daughter. She'd left her job in a solicitor's office to help her mother look after her father when he was ill. Her other siblings, married with families, said Beth was the logical one and already lived at home.
Beth didn't tell them about the young man at the office who was showing an interest in her. Reluctantly she refused his invitations to the movies, knowing she had to be a bulwark for her mother. The young man, timid and reserved like Beth, faded away.
When their father died two years later, the family decided Beth should stay home with their mother to look after her though Clarissa, their mother said she was perfectly able to look after herself. Beth should go back her old job and get into the world again.
There's no need for Beth to work, the family said. Their late parent had left his wife and youngest daughter substantially well off but during the years since her father's death, the inheritance had shrunk. Beth found it hard to make ends meet. She thought of returning to work but time had moved on since she'd worked in an office. She'd forgotten half her shorthand and hadn't used a typewriter for years. She thought about taking a refresher course but now there were computers and systems her nephews and nieces spoke about with ease. Christopher, Beth's youngest nephew, was amazed Beth didn't know about a byte though he'd told her over and over again.
Beth, who loved poetry and reading, thought she'd re-train as a librarian but she'd lost her confidence. So she put what spare time she had into babysitting nieces and nephews for a few dollars and doing a bit of cooking and cleaning for the woman down the road who had a high powered job in the city and who continually told Beth she'd give anything to stay home for a few days and sleep.

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 Download The Rainbow Children from
Jenny, an only child, meets the Rainbow Children and has an adventure.
Plus other stories suitable for children 4-10

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Books to Buy

Check out these books at
And where they are available - MuseItUp at 

Invaded - The Darkest Day/Chronicles of Caleath - Rosalie Skinner
Concilium/the Concilium series  - Michelle K Pickett
Darker Than Night - Erick Burgess
Murder By Design/The Tito Prescott mysteries  - Joyce Holland
Set Up - Cheryl B Dale
Revelations/The Fireborn Chronicles - Mary Andrews
Entity/The Spectra series  - Joanne Elder
Island Danger - Margo Sorenson
Soul Bound/The Twin Flames series - Alix Richards 

Fantasy, romance, horror, thriller, mystery, sci-fi, paranormal, adult, young adult 

A book here for every reader.  

Following my Barrens Beach theme of my last blog, here is another photo of the beach complex.
Looking northwards from the beach to the Fitzgerald River National Park. The walk path is a depiction of the Park's coastline.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Visiting Hopetoun WA!
Check out the new complex at Barrens Beach at the foot of East Mt Barren and see my poem on a plaque there. 
Cry of my country.
              To Eileen Turle 

She said
have you read Edward Thomas
and lent me a book
of his poetry. 

He spoke of English things
of meadowsweet
the first primrose
the blackbird song at evening
and English lanes
green and white in their season.
These things she remembered. 

My road runs wide and long.
Through the shimmering heat
the red dust dances
beyond the horizon
and from a Tallerack
by the creek
comes the harsh call of a crow.  

For those readers who are interested, Edward Thomas was one of the doomed WW1 poets

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Winter's tale

I first thought of making The Winter's Tale into a short story. It could almost be the basic for a novel. How many lifetimes does a writer have? Instead it became a poem.
The poem was first published in The Small Press Times, then I published it in my short story and poetry anthology, The Japanese Grandmother. 


They met in the rain
Outside the coffee shop.
He had come from visiting
his newborn son.
She was on her way
to collect her daughter
from ballet lessons. 

 They were together in Paris.
He had an offer
Of a top job in London.
            She had to return
to this antipodean city
where her mother was dying. 
He saw her to the airport.
She promised to return
but her mother
took a long time dying. 

He took her arm
And led her
into a coffee shop
across the way.
He ordered coffee
holding her hand
as he caressed the rings
another man had placed there. 

Silently she cried as
he kissed her cold fingers
With lips wet from the rain. 

She gave him a last anguished look
Before rushing into the rain. 

At his feet was the cup
She had knocked from the table.
Broken in two. 

Picking up the chit
He went to the check out.
They added
the price of the cup
to his bill. 

He picked up the change
And went into the rain. 25% discount during July.
Miss Emma Napier helps her friend, Abby, escape from an unwelcome marriage. She meets Lord Desborough who is looking for a temporary wife. He thinks Emma could be the perfect choice.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'd read about mysterious circles in grain crops and decided to write a short story about such a happening.
Coming of Hippolyta won second prize in an Esperance short story competition and was published in ARM, another outlet for creative writers which has stopped publishing. 

Coming of Hippolyta

Madge Kelly went onto the back verandah to empty the teapot on the hydrangea growing in an old tub by the wooden steps. In the darkness, she visualized the plant's lush blue flowers. To her, it was an old friend.
She'd bought the plant as a cutting in a jam tin from a stall in town the year she married Ern. She'd propagated it many times but the parent plant meant more to her than its offspring growing around her garden and in the neighbours' gardens.
She glanced to that part of the evening sky where the planet Venus usually appeared.
Below the planet, another bright star suddenly materialized. Madge thought it was the light of a jet but it moved too fast. To Madge's startled gaze, it grew larger and brighter while she watched and seemed to land beyond the strip of bush in the north paddock.
Ern, her husband, called from the kitchen, "Hurry up, Madge. We're waiting for our tea."
Madge backed away from Venus and tripped over the doorstep into the kitchen. "I think I've just seen a spaceship land."

Read the rest of the story at

Download The Japanese Grandmother at 25% discount during July
Short stories and poetry

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Creative Connections

People of Western Australia
Looking for somewhere to go?
 Visit the Creative Connections Art and Poetry Exhibition.
Buy a painting if you are so inclined, or an anthology or two of the paintings and poetry.
Or just enjoy yourself.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I wrote this little poem many years ago after a friend told me about her friend who had an operation for a cancerous breast. When it had healed, she had a butterfly tattooed on the place where her breast had been.
The poem was published in Pandora, a women's magazine. 


Creatures of sun and light
And dewy mornings.
Brilliant coloured wings fluttering
among flowers in my garden
giving pleasure
to my friend and me
as we drank tea
on the verandah. 

She had a breast removed
and a butterfly
Tattooed on the spot.

            *               *             *

Download Rainbow Children from
Jenny, an only child, meets the Rainbow children who live at the end of the rainbow and has an adventure. Plus other short stories suitable for children 4 - 10

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Are you wordy? Recognize the signs
Scan your writing for the following symptoms of wordiness:
  • Being” verbs. You’ll have to use them sometimes, of course, but they often slow the pace of a sentence. Compare “still, dustgreen trees” to “trees that are a dusty-colored green.”
  • Passive constructions. Passive voice, which occurs when the subject of the sentence receives action rather than performing it, inevitably clogs sentences. Compare the flies that “are killed by the impact” versus the flies that simply “die.”
  • Filler words. We writers love words…maybe a little too much. Are all of our words necessary? Play a game with your WIP: take a few sentences and try to rewrite them to be half as long, a third as long, even just an eighth as long. Experiment with what words you can cut without losing meaning.
  • Read the rest of the article by Sarah Baughman at Suzannah's site at wrap
  • However. And this from me. You must be careful not to make your book into a synopsis of the story you tell and your characters cardboard people. The reader still needs to know how your characters think and feel, their despair and joy, to enter their minds so the reader becomes one with the character and to the reader that character becomes a person.  

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Danny and Will Hennessy are off to fight in WW2, leaving their father, Jack Hennessy, to manage the huge Walara sheep property.
Download Journey from Walara from 25% during July

Friday, July 6, 2012

Calamity's Corner July 2012

July's Calamity's Corner is now available. For your free download, email Calamity at
This month's author is Kim Walters who writes for Harlequin's Love Inspired series.  Kim says she considers setting is important. A good setting captures the imagination and sets the background of the story. Kim likes to place her stories in a small town setting.
I must say if nothing else, the book covers of Kim's books would sell her stories. They are absolutely lovely: so bright with colour that one just wants to be there.
Check out Kim's beautiful book covers at
Among the book and movie reviews: Deborah Cannan considers the movie, Royal Affair, the best movie she's seen this year. The film is based on the true story of the very young English Princess Caroline who is sent to marry King Christian VII of Denmark. The beauty of the movie is added to by the sumptuous gowns and setting.
Do you want help as a writer? Check out Calamity's Resources and Promotion web links.
See how smart you are by trying Calamity's quiz. This month's theme: Distances.
Want to see yourself in Calamity's Corner? Send in an unusual event/activity. Write about your pet and send photos.
And much much more in Calamity's Corner.

Download from discounted 25% during July
Detective Matt Allenby arrives in a small town in Western Australia to investigate a murder. He thinks it will be a straightforward case then he finds he is fallng in love with one of his suspects

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Japanese Grandmother

Many readers have thought this story was part of my family history. But it is fiction. I wrote it because there really were Japanese prostitutes in the small mining community of Western Australia on the edge of the desert country in the early nineteen hundreds. It spurred my imagination. 

The Japanese Grandmother  

We were always in awe of our Japanese grandmother, so tiny and delicate in comparison to her great clodhoppers of grandchildren who took after the Australian side of the family. The only thing we inherited from her were our sloe black eyes.
To her grandchildren, she always remained an enigma. "Tell us about where you came from?" we'd beg her.
"I came from Japan," she said, her black eyes smiling.
"But where in Japan?" we'd cry, especially me, who had a greater interest than the others in our family history. "We know grandfather's family here in Melbourne but where is your Japanese family?"
She smiled mysteriously and fluttered a fan made from rice paper in front of her face, using it like a mask as she gazed at us over it, her eyes inscrutable in their darkness.
We tried to guess what grandmother's life might have been in Japan. Had she been a princess or highborn Japanese lady?
One of the younger grandchildren was sure grandmother had been a fairy. We bigger ones scoffed, sending her fleeing to grandmother for comfort.
"If you say I was a fairy, then I must have been," grandmother said. "Look, little one." Grandmother opened her fan with its exotic design. "See the crane contemplating the tree. What is he thinking?"
"He wants to build a nest and lay some eggs," my small cousin said, getting her genders mixed.
Grandmother folded the fan and placed it in my cousin’s chubby hand. "For you, little one." Sixty years later, my cousin still has it.
As we grew older, we queried grandmother's history less, that is, all except me. I suppose it was why grandfather left me the letter to be opened after my grandparents' deaths. He knew I would become an historian.
Read the rest of the story at my website

Download Crossroads at Isca from at a discount of 25% during July.
Two British girls meet two young Roman tribunes from the great fort on the plain and their lives are changed forever.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thanks to Wendy for her great review [below] of Crossroads from Isca, my Roman Britain book. You can check out Wendy at her blog
Review of Crossroads at Isca. 
Togas, Tribunes and Taboos.
Crossroads at Isca draws us into the lives of Romans and Britains in a conquered land. We become part of a local family, or tribe, who rebel against Roman authority, in their different ways. This is a story about betrayal, manipulation, love, honour, duty and fear. Set during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138AD), Isca refers to a Roman legionary fortress and settlement, in South Wales on the plains below the ancient village of Ceobury. The two cultures clash and exploit each other. We watch both camps try to cooperate but also manipulate each other in order to survive and thrive, and our sympathies are constantly changing.
The story hooked me right from the start. I have grave concerns for the two cousins who are unaware of the potential betrayer in their midst. Marella, the dancer, is headed for trouble and she's determined to take Faine, the singer, with her. Faine is a sensible young woman but there is a Roman tribune, Titus, who intrigues her and who is infatuated with her.
I applaud the author, Laurel Lamperd, for her thorough research. This book is rich in history. It has everything from everyday life in the primitive village, where we become part of a family; eating, drinking, laughing, crying and journeying with them, even burying them, to kidnapping, murder and human sacrifice. We come to understand the significance of pagan sacrifice, on the one hand, and on the other, how necessary high priests are and how they become revered. We face the evil from within the clan, admire the strength of the women who carve out their own destiny against impossible odds, and respect the attributes of the Romans.
Lamperd creates believably flawed characters who drive the gripping plot, and she doesn’t shy away from the taboos of the times but handles them with the skill of a seasoned writer.
This historical adventure allows us to experience Roman Britain first hand. The story is entertaining and enlightening and encourages us to question our own values. Would we succumb in the circumstances?
I must admit, I enjoy everything from this author’s pen.
Highly recommended.
Wendy Laharnar
Author-The Unhewn Stone.

                                           *          *          *
Download a copy of Crossroads at Isca from
Two British girls meet with two young Roman tribunes and their lives are changed forever. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I wrote this poem because rising salt is proving to be a silent disaster in the farm lands of Western Australia.
The native WA vegetation evolved to be salt tolerant. Many woodland species have deep roots and a high water demand.
European farming arrived a hundred and fifty years ago, replacing the native vegetation with crops and pasture, plants with shorter roots and a need for less water.
It began the state's worst environmental crisis which has continued to the present.
Salt has been published in E2K and Landscape magazines. 


Since the Holocene
The sea has been trapped
behind dunes. 

It roars
Like a raging lion
ready to be let loose
on the land. 

It sounds louder at night
Menacing. Threatening. 

The sheep listen
From their hillock of sand
the sea once covered. 

Between the sea and the sheep
Are salt lakes.
So much water
so much salt. 

In the wet years
The water level rises
and brings the salt.
The dry years bring starvation
and the sheep die
but the salt remains. 

Now there is less grazing land. 

It is a race between us
And the salt. 

We plant trees. 

It is war between us
And the salt. 

We plant. 

The foe is merciless.

Still we plant.

                             *            *            *

Download The Rainbow Children from
Stories suitable for children 3 - 11.
A lonely child, Jenny meets up with the rainbow children and has an adventure.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oranges are the Bitter Fruit

Oranges are the Bitter Fruit was first published in SWW Decades Anthology. The brief was to write a fictional short story and link it with a person who had lived. CY O'Connor [1843 - 1902] was an Irish engineer who is best known for the construction of Fremantle Harbour and the Goldfields Water Supply pipeline which carries water 530 km from Mundaring Dam near Perth to Kalgoorlie Boulder in Western Australia.
I have since published it in The Japanese Grandmother, my short story and poetry magazine.
Below is a short excerpt from the story. You can read the rest on my website at


The boy had watched the house since daylight.
Last night, he planned to break in and steal food when the occupants were asleep. Then his hunger was bearable. Now it was like a raging tiger. Getting food was all he cared about but he was frightened. He hadn't broken into a house before.
He saw the man leave on horseback early in the morning. Then some children left in a horse-drawn carriage and a woman an hour later.
For a long time, there wasn't any movement at the house and the smoke had cleared from the chimney.
When he thought it safe, he stepped from behind a bush and glanced up and down the road. No one was in sight. He ran across to the house and climbed the fence before  fear got the better of him, and jumped down into the courtyard.
It shocked him to see a young girl whom he hadn't noticed, standing at an easel, painting, in the shade of the wide verandah.

                                 *             *                *
Download from
Miss Emma Napier helps her friend to escape a forced marriage. She meets Lord Desborough who is looking for a temporary wife. Emma seems the perfect choice.

Friday, June 15, 2012

 I wrote this poem many years ago.
It was published by Ars Poetica & online
by Poetry Quay. I wonder where those
publications are now.
However, I'm glad to air the poem again. 
I hope you enjoy it. 


She sent a card
In sympathy for Tom's death
with a note attached.
She had got religion
and wanted to atone
for the affair she and Tom
had in that mining town
forty years ago. 

Our children were in nursery school.
I thought she was my friend
But in preserving
her peace of mind
she has shattered mine.

                           *              *              *

Down load from
Suitable for children 7 - 11 years. Shane, Mitch and Leanna discover an injured cormorant living at the creek. Then they have to protect the creek from the developers.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Footballers, my short story is available on my website
The short story was published in the West Australian Newspapers thirty years ago. It was one of my first stories published. I was thrilled to bits. Sadly, the West doesn't publish short stories and poetry anymore. It's what I like about the web. you can air old writings again.
Below is a short excerpt.
Kenny saw his father’s football trophies in the cupboard set high on the kitchen wall. Tarnished with black smudges, the silver cups gleamed dully in the afternoon sunlight shafting through the kitchen window.
"You'll be up there one day too, fella," his father would say as he gave one of the silver cups to Kenny to hold.
Kenny ran his fingers over the writing. "What does it say, Dad?” he’d ask though he knew it by heart.
“Best Player in Southerners Football Team,” his father would say. 

                                      *                  *                 *

The second book in the Walara series. Danny and Will Hennessy join up in WW2 leaving their father, Jack Hennessy to manage the huge Walara sheep station
The book can be purchased as a download from

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Gentle Wind's Caress released

My historical novel, The Gentle Wind's Caress, has been released in paperback and in digital formats. Yay!

The Blurb:Halifax, 1876. On the death of her mother and sister, Isabelle Gibson is left to fend for herself and her brother in a privately-run workhouse. After the matron's son attempts to rape her, Isabelle decides to escape him and a life of drudgery by agreeing to marry a moorland farmer she has never met. But this man, Farrell, is a drunkard and a bully in constant feud with his landlord, Ethan Harrington. When Farrell bungles a robbery and deserts her, Isabelle and Ethan are thrown together as she struggles to save the farm. Both are married and must hide their growing love. But despite the secrecy, Isabelle draws strength from Ethan as faces from the past return to haunt her and a tragedy is set to strike that will change all of their lives forever.

The except:‘He’ll be here soon.’ Hughie sat by the fire darning a sock. ‘The snow has likely held him up.’

‘What keeps him out night after night?’ She stamped her foot in frustration. ‘He drinks more than a sailor does on his first day back at port!’
 Hughie grinned.The sound of scratching made Isabelle frown. The snowstorm grew in intensity. She could no longer see the outbuildings. The scratching sounded again. ‘What is that?’
Hughie shrugged. ‘The trees on the window upstairs?’
Isabelle stepped away from the window, nibbling her fingertips. There would be no market day today. She went to walk into the scullery when a thump hit the back door. She opened it and cried out as Farrell landed at her feet.
Hughie dashed to her side and together they stared at her husband’s bloody form.‘Heaven’s above!’ Isabelle bent to touch him. He stirred and moaned. ‘Help me bring him inside, Hughie.’
They grabbed him under the arms and dragged him down the step and onto the kitchen floor. His coat was missing and his wet woollen vest cloaked him like another skin.
Farrell opened and closed his eyes. ‘Isabelle…’
‘What happened to you?’ She took a dishcloth from the table and knelt to wipe the blood oozing from a cut in his forehead. She gestured to Hughie. ‘Get me some blankets off the bed and a pillow too. He’s too heavy to lift, so I’ll have to make a bed in here for him.
As Hughie ran to do as she bid, Isabelle quickly made him a cup of sweet tea and held his head up to pour a little into his mouth. Next, she rubbed Farrell’s cold hands between her own. Hughie ran into the room with the items she asked for, and Isabelle placed the pillow under Farrell’s head. ‘Heat a warming pan, Hughie.’
Farrell’s eyes fluttered, he moaned between blue lips.
Isabelle ran into the scullery and found an old pair of gloves. She returned and tugged them onto his icy hands. ‘Lord, what have you done to yourself?’
He murmured and opened his eyes. She tucked the blanket around him more securely. ‘Lie still.’
‘No…’She put the cup to his lips again. ‘Drink this now. You need to get warm.’
He slowly eased himself up onto one elbow. ‘Got to hide.’ He wheezed and then coughed. His split lip began to bleed freely again.
‘Hide?’ She frowned. ‘Why?’
‘They’ll find me here!’ He tried to get up, but she pushed him back down. 
‘Had to run…’
Hughie knelt down beside them. ‘Has he lost his mind?’
‘Heaven knows, silly man. It’d be hardly surprising if he has, being out in this weather all night.’ She made Farrell drink again. ‘Take his boots off, Hughie.’
‘No!’ Farrell reared up. ‘I must hide.’ He gripped Isabelle’s arms until they hurt. His eyes were wide and frightened. ‘I can’t hide here. They’ll find me.’
In a panic, Isabelle glanced up at the door as though the riders from Hell would burst through it any moment. She flung away his hands, alarmed. ‘What have you done?’ Her voice sounded high to her ears.
‘They nearly caught me. Had to run.’ Farrell panted, throwing off the blanket, struggling to sit up. ‘They saw my face. I must go!’
Isabelle stood and hugged herself, fighting rising terror. ‘Tell me,’ she whispered.

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