Thursday, June 27, 2013

For Laurel from Carole

 I'm posting the following from Laurel's fellow West Australian  author and good friend, Carole Sutton.

Laurel and I were good buddies for many many years. We met up back in the early days of YouWriteOn, when they first came out. We would critique each other's work and we got on fine.  She had one of my 'Gus, Sore Feet - No Collar' books, and in exchange I had her books of shorts and poems called 'The Ink Drinkers'.

 I also read the first two books of Walara, it would be good if the final book can get published. I also read her 'Crossroads at Isca' book. I have never been particularly poetic but I enjoyed her work. It encouraged me to try one myself. I thought about putting it here. Perhaps Laurel can have a little laugh out of that.

Song of the Night

Carole Sutton

Dark nights

Stars above with the satellites

The moon’s loom

Turns the gloom

Into beautiful silvery lights


Lonely tree

Shimmering leaves and standing free

In the sand

Of arid land

With no one there to see


Flying feathers

Grasping claws in all weathers

With hooked beak

And eyes that seek

The Tawny Owl his supper gathers


 Such a shame. It is so sad. It's too early for Laurel to go, don't you think? Or, is there never a good time?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Goodbye Laurel Lamperd

Our dear friend and talented Western Australian author, Laurel Lamperd lost her life to lung cancer on 9th June. Few people knew of her struggle as she bravely continued with her writing right to the end.

Our deepest sympathy goes to Max, her husband, and to her children Gaye, Lindsay and Dawn and to her nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

Laurel was a gifted writer, a warm, caring hostess and a wonderfully generous friend who grabbed every opportunity to support and promote her fellow authors. She was openly proud of all of us. Her lovely nature shone through in the warmth of her published books.

Laurel published eight books:

two of short stories and poems:
The Rainbow Children
The Japanese Grandmother

And six novels:
Murder Among the Roses –contemporary mystery
Substitute Bride -- Regency
Crossroads at Isca – Roman Britain
Battle of Boodicuttup Creek – Australian Children’s Book
Wind from Danyari Book 1  –   Historical saga
Journey from Walara Book 2 – during WWII

Laurel was working on Book 3 Return to Walara in her historical series about a Western Australian dynasty, and was still adding poems and short stories to her blog and to her Author’s Den page right up until the last.

Commenting on my blog Laurel once wrote,

“[Writing] does become a type of drug, which does away with any sense of boredom, of wondering how to fill your days. Through writing you meet wonderful friends with whom you always have something to discuss. Writing makes life exciting as you pen what you hope is the next bestseller…”

In July 2012 Laurel sent me this photo of the plaques featuring her poem “Cry to my Country” and one of her friend, Helen’s, poems at Barrens Beach in WA. Laurel said, “They have spent a lot of money on the complex. They say it's part of the Royalty for Regions scheme which the WA National Party insisted on when they went into government with the WA Liberals.”

What a magnificent legacy to a much loved Australian poet and novelist.

We are proud of you Laurel.

I’ll always cherish your friendship and your novels.

You are a lasting blessing. Sweet dreams, dear friend.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Noble Place

A Noble Place.
Blurb: Australia 1850. Phillippa Noble, strong minded, spirited, and adventurous, urges and encourages her parents and twin to emigrate to the distant land of Australia to begin again. In a new country they can put their tainted past behind them and Pippa can forget the unrequited love she felt for a distant cousin.
Pippa blossoms in the new country and is determined that their horse stud will be the finest in the land. 
However, circumstances ensure that not all is golden. For every success, she has to bear up under the challenges of bushfire, death, the return of an old love, and danger on the goldfields. Her strength is tested as she tries to find the right path to happiness, but it is the near loss of her dearest friend that makes her realise true contentment rests within her grasp and she must not let it go.

Available in ebook from Amazon USA and Amazon UK

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Creepy Spooky Investigations

Joe Blough not only sees dead people, he occasionally dates them, but only the cute ones who haven't been banged up too much. As the last living liason between the recently (and not-so) deceased and the mortal plane, it's Joe's job to keep the balance between the living and the dead steady and clean, because if the breathing couple in Number 22 found out that the guy in 26 had stopped respiration 13 years ago but still grew onions in his front yard, well it could get a little awkward.
But there's a problem. Someone has started killing the dead, and it's making a mess. Not just when the dead depart. That sudden release of pent up energy has to go somewhere. But the regular people are starting to see thing they really don;t want to see, and experience things they really can't handle. It's up to Joe and the team from C.S.I (Creepy Spooky Investigations) to find out who is shuffling the dead off this mortal coil and prevent a calamity that could destroy two worlds.
Coming soonish from Nitewriter Media.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Virtue of a Governess excerpt

In 1867 Nicola Douglas attends a London lecture that inspires her to change her life. With no family, but a good education, she boards a ship to Australia with high hopes of a fresh start in a new country as a governess. But Sydney is full of young women with similar hopes and equally poor prospects. When Nicola is at her lowest, she meets Nathaniel West. Try as she might, her attraction to Nathaniel West grows. She also meets a visiting American, Hilton Warner. As both men shower her with attention, Nicola reaches a crisis. She came to Australia expecting to be a governess, but finding love, and being married, shows how empty her life has been since her parents' death. Her achievements at the Governess Home are vital to her. Can she have both? To reject both men would relegate her to spinsterhood, but if she makes that choice, would her career ever be enough to sustain her?

Nat shook the sweat from his eyes, ducking his head and weaving to the side, making sure he kept his shoulders and fists up high to protect his chin. From the corner of the chalked square, he made out the old hunched-back man, who stood and, holding the brass bell aloft, rang it heartily three times. Cheers and shouts went up, there was a surge towards the fighters but the organiser’s men held the rowdy mass back.
 “Christ man, what’s taking you so long?” Tristan thumped Nat’s back, laughing. “You should have had him in the first minute. The man is lead-footed.”
Nat wheezed the air into his lungs and wiped the sweat from his eyes. “I want to keep out of his reach, he can hit like a hammer.”
“Nonsense, man. He’s like a windmill, arms everywhere.”
“Shut up will you, and get me some water.” Nat closed his eyes for a moment, trying to block out the sight and noise of men baying for his blood. What possessed him to agree to this fight? He was no longer a young man of twenty. It’d been a few years since he celebrated his thirtieth birthday, which should have been enough warning to give up this sort of sport and stick to cricket. He hadn’t been practising in months, and it showed.
Tristan thrust a crude tin cup into his hands and water sloshed over his wrist. “It’s only water, perhaps you need something stronger.”
“Sod off.” He gulped the water down just as the hunchback rang the bell again. Surging to his feet, he berated himself once more in agreeing to this madness. Already his opponent, some dockland fellow with missing teeth, had jabbed him in the ribs, which ached when he moved. Another lucky punch had caught his eye and likely tomorrow he’d have the bruise to show for it.
He raised his fists, keeping light on his feet as he’d been taught as a schoolboy back home in England. His wiry opponent gave a little jab, testing the way it was to be in this round, but Nat was tired of the game. It’d been a spur of the moment decision to enter the square, a desperate need to burn off some restless energy that bedding with his current mistress didn’t do last night.
Weaving, ducking, he circled the opposite man, looking for a way to end the match so he could return to his club and drown his sorrows for another day. He thought of her then, the woman who’d haunted his mind. Nicola Douglas. His blood grew thick in his veins as an image of her face swarmed before him.
He never saw the punch, just felt the intense pain of the other man’s fist hitting his jaw. The impact made him bite his tongue and the stinging pain joined the thudding ache of his face. He staggered, tasted blood. The crowd, mainly all working class, shouted encouragement to their champion and jeered at Nat when he readied himself again.
Anger cursed through Nat and brought him awake and into focus. Thinking of that damned woman had been his downfall. He’d be on his back if he didn’t concentrate.
Uttering a filthy swear word, he pivoted on one foot, danced a side-step and taking the fellow unawares gave him a quick three jab attack that sent the man to his knees. Nat jigged away, hopping from foot to foot at the edge of the square, waiting to see if he regained his feet, but the fellow knew he was beat and surrendered the purse.
Declared the winner by Mr Kent, the organiser, Nat was given the purse of four guineas. The unruly crowd went into a frenzy, the shouts and yelling growing into a deafening roar, as not many had backed Nat. He knew their thinking, a workingman’s strength up against a toff who did nothing but sit around in his club all day. But who’d got the last laugh this time? Little did they know that he enjoyed physical pursuits and had been fighting since he was a small boy. Not many had the better of him.
“Excellently done, West.” Tristan once more thumped his back and gave Nat his shirt and coat. Nat winced, moving his shoulders to ease on the shirt over the wet stickiness of his sweat-soaked body.
“Let’s get out of here.” Nat grabbed the rest of his belongings from Tristan. Now the fight was over, it wouldn’t pay to stay in this rough neighbourhood. The four guineas was hardly worth it really, but then it’d never been about the money, just the sheer joy of beating another. However, today the win left him with a sour taste in his mouth that had nothing to do with the bloodied tongue and lip.
“Wait, I’ve yet to collect.” Tristan disappeared into the press of workingmen.
Nat groaned in frustration. Hanging around would only be asking for trouble. Already he was sensing a change in the atmosphere. He kept his head down but managed to glance around, taking in the situation. Mr Kent was arguing in the corner with five men, all baying for blood. They’d lost heavily by the looks of it. Shrugging on his jacket, Nat walked backwards a bit, heading towards the barn doors and the alley beyond. Damn Tristan, where was he?
“Mr West!”
Nat swung around and waited for Kent to wield a path through the thick of the crowd towards him. “I’ve an appointment, Kent, got to go.”
“Can I book you in for another fight next month?”
“No, not this time.” He wasn’t stupid. Kent had scored a high profit today.
Tristan joined them, hurriedly stashing coins into his bulging pockets like a child stealing sweets. “Nice afternoon’s entertainment,” he said with a grin.
“Let us go.” Nat made for the door, glaring at any man who made eye contact with him. Lord, he was stupid to risk his neck at these back alley fights. If anything happened to him, Frances would be alone.
Once clear of the old barn, he squinted in the harsh sunlight. The squeal of pigs came from the slaughterhouse on the right. He shivered, despite the mild spring warmth of the September day.
“Shall we have a drink at the club?” Tristan replaced his hat as they headed left. 
“I don’t particularly care. I just want to be clear of that lot in there.”
“You think it could have turned ugly?”
“I’m sure of it. Too much money changed hands. Kent has pulled a fast one I think. He’s seen me fight before but that was a new crowd.” As if to justify his words, a shout came from behind them. When Nat turned and saw the dozen or so men spilling out of the barn, yelling fit to be tied, his guts squeezed dread. He turned to Tristan and had to smile at the shock on his face. “Well, friend, I hope you can run fast.” 

Buy for Kindle or paperback from Amazon UK or Amazon USA:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One Way ticket to Mars? Any takers?

Have you seen the article on a One Way trip to Mars ?Tickets will be funded by an ongoing Reality TV program following the training and adventures of the competitors. 

With over 10,000 people already signing up for the chance, the organisers are confident they can maintain the ratings to finance this science fiction type challenge.

So, would you be prepared to fly into the wild blue yonder and beyond?
The time spent in a tin can  bombarded by radiation as you leave Earth and  head toward Mars would be enough to kill any human. 

However, before leaving you would need to have at least three different types of nanobots in your blood. 

One to seek out cells damaged by radiation, one to repair cells and another to reconstruct bone tissue, depleted from radiation and time in space.

At least that's basically what I understood from a documentary I saw many years ago. Back then the projected date for the first manned Mars ship was 2020. 

It was confirmation at the time, that my fantastic idea of nanobots in my hero's blood wasn't too far fetched. 

Now the idea seems to be to send robotic builders to prepare a base for the intrepid travellers with their one way tickets. 

Imagine what type of dwellings they would need? 
All the science fiction films and books conjure visions in my imagination. I have a feeling the reality would be functional and less than aesthetic.

Not quite how this artist envisages things.

Funded by the television viewers... I love this idea. It fits so perfectly, again, with the ideas I used in The Chronicles of Caleath. 

As we travel forward in time, the science fiction I relied on while world building my fantasy, is becoming more like science fiction FACT. 

What a wonderful world we live in...
I am sure I wouldn't want to be on  one of the space ships leaving for a one way trip. 

Not to Mars...

No. I wouldn't line up for tickets. Not in this lifetime. 

I am happy to stick with my imagination.

Photos courtesy of ... into the blue is my own image.

Autumn has arrived Downunder...

The weather is cool, the rain continues and the Australian evergreens hardly show a sign of impending winter. 

Still, the temperatures have dropped overnight to a low 14 deg C. That's around 57 def F. It is time to find jumpers, coats and warm blankets.

School holidays begin today. 

So thoughts of camping and travelling are forefront in our minds. 
The scent of woodsmoke and the taste of billy tea tempt us to brave the conditions... 

At this time of year snakes, ticks and biting insects are less prevalent. :) So it is perfect for camping.

Or, if sitting in comfort at home and  reading a good book 

or two...

Or perhaps writing...

Or just dreaming of sailing away to far off lands.

What are you doing this weekend?