“Burnt Wattle”

I’ve almost finished writing book four of the “Southern Skyes” series – “Burnt Wattle” – and aim to get it to my editor in early November. We’re planning on a pre-Christmas release.

Meanwhile, do you need to catch up with any of the first three Books?

If you do, please click here


While New South Wales burns . . .

Last Thursday I rediscovered my mojo and managed to write a few thousand words on a half-finished novel destined to be the fourth book in the Southern Skyes series. Feeling rather pleased with my output I made myself a cuppa and blissfully sat down in front of the TV to catch up on world news . . . AND was I in for a shock! Images of the state being consumed by fire flashed across the screen . . . the worst fires the state of New South Wales have experienced on a decade . . . all while I’d been playing with words. It made me realize just how far removed from reality we can sometimes get. People were losing their homes and possessions while I’d been ensconced in my make-believe world of historical fiction, oblivious to all but my creative thoughts.
Today it was announced almost 200 homes have been lost in the Springwood and Winmalee areas in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, which is just one of the areas experiencing bushfires. The Rural Fire Service said 193 properties had been destroyed and 109 damaged. My thoughts go out to all those who have been affected . . . the traumatized and grieving families, brave but exhausted fire-fighters, lost and frightened pets, injured livestock and scared, homeless wildlife. It’s a terrible time for all and I count myself lucky to be living some 100 kilometers from the worst of the fires, but it’s in time such as these that Australian come together to support those in need . . . that’s one of the things that makes Australia such a wonderful place – the camaraderie, or the mate-ship that is so embedded in the Aussie psyche.

We have much to be thankful for in the way volunteer services, charities and communities pull together in times of need, but beyond all I thank the brave men and women of the NSW Rural Fire Service who put their lives at risk to save the property and lives of others. Their immeasurable contribution is above and beyond what could ever be repaid.


The Newcastle Herald’s photographer, Phil Hearne, captured this moment where exhausted firefighters collapsed for a moment’s rest. #NSWRFS


The overwhelming enormity of the Heatherbrae fires. Photo by Simon White


#NSWRFS Crews fighting the Springwood fire near St Columba’s School. Photo by Eillie Southwood


Wattle Tree

It’s a bit weird that only last week I decided on a name for this fourth book I’m writing and find it somewhat incongruous, and a little disquieting, that the title I select was “Burnt Wattle”.


Growing Up Indie, Part I: Reviews

It’s been said indie authors live and die by their reviews, which is often true, but in my opinion this blog sums it up very nicely. We need your reviews so if you’ve read and enjoyed any of my books I’d love to see you post an honest review for each book on the site where you made the purchase. I know it’s a little time consuming, but we indies so need your reviews. Many thanks to those who’ve already done so, your time and opinion is really appreciated.

Write Minded

“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

I remember Kansas.  Kansas was 1997, and I had just published two romances with Bantam’s Loveswept line.  Kansas was traditional publishing with agents and editors and books with paper pages and professional reviewers who worked for newspapers or magazines like Romantic Times.  Back there in Kansas, your average reader had no way to say yea or nay—aside from word of mouth, which, as we all know, is limited to the number of ears you can bend.  Kansas, my friends, was black and white when it came to reviews.  You knew exactly whom you were dealing with … for better or worse.

A bit more than six months ago, I jumped the rainbow and landed in Oz—otherwise known as The Land of Self-Publishing—embarking on a magical mystery tour where every day is an adventure.  Where every– and anyone is a…

View original post 339 more words

Springtime Down Under

“Spring is come, the grass is ris,
I wonder where the birdies is.”

That’s what someone wrote in my autograph book back in my school days. At the time I thought it was kind of weird, but kind of cute too. The main thing is it stayed with me long after the autograph book joined the discarded pile of youthful enterprise. In retrospect, it’s one thing I wish I’d kept . . . so many memories in one small book of pastel colored pages.

But, Spring has arrived in the southern hemisphere bringing more than just pastel tones to our lives as plants, shrubs and trees bloom with vibrant color.





Okay, so we have flowers you say, but where is da birdies? Well, they’re out and about being ever so busy building nests and rearing their young and in doing so they don’t particularly have time to spare for photographers.

But . . . yes, there’s always a “but”. Here are two pictures from previous years.



I love the colors of spring along with its freshness and promised new life . . . and new memories still to come.


Finishing off today with one of my favorites – Australia’s golden wattle.