Thursday, 19 October 2017


In many countries, October is breast cancer awareness month, helping to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment, as well as palliative care, of this illness.

As many of you know, this October, I'm celebrating one year since my diagnosis in October, 2016. Yes, I'm celebrating the awareness of my own mortality. Celebrating the fact that I was lucky I had a treatable form, and lucky to live in a country where treatment is not only free, but top-class. Celebrating life. Celebrating being a better person (I hope!).

With many thanks to fellow author, Patricia Sands, for featuring my breast cancer journey (and a few free books!) on her blog today.

Friday, 6 October 2017

#Promo Publication Price: The Bone Angel Trilogy #Boxset

Well, after almost a year's break from writing, due to some "challenging" medical issues, I've finally published my three French historical fiction novels as: The Bone Angel Trilogy Boxset.

Three standalone stories exploring the tragedies and triumphs of a French village family of midwife-healers during the French Revolution (Spirit of Lost Angels), WW2 Nazi-occupied France (Wolfsangel) and the 1348 Black Plague (Blood Rose Angel).

If you're looking for an early Kindle Xmas gift for a bookie friend/family member, The Bone Angel Trilogy boxset is available now, on Amazon for a limited PROMO price of $5.99.

Image result for Creative commons books
 If you're into more ancient Historical Fiction or intelligent crime fiction, check out my Triskele Books' colleagues boxsets HERE!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Au Revoir Summer

You can feel it in the morning and the evening, that small nip in the air; that turn of season. You can see it in the sun, already slinking away. You can feel it in the light, that ochre, autumn shade, gentler on the eye. And after sweltering in France's heatwave for the last 3 months, I can't say I'm sorry to say bye bye to summer.

Crazy, mad, charming Naples
And his pizzas weren't too bad either!

 In hindsight, Italy seemed a ridiculous destination for an August holiday, with temperatures hovering near the 40s most days! Despite the wonder of Pompeii and Herculanum, the mad charm of Naples, the yummy pizzas, the ancient rural beauty of Sienna and Pérugia, my next trip to Italy will be in the dead of winter.

Wash day

Dietary staples
So, all frivolity aside, it's time for me to get back to work and write another book, another 70s Aussie psycho drama, working title: Swimming with Seagulls. Watch this space!

And to welcome in the new season, here's a special autumn song by Ben Rector:

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Silent Kookaburra on @aussieradioshow !

Many thanks to fellow Australian, and ex-pat, Neill Bartlett for this nostalgic interview on The Aussie Radio Show about The Silent Kookaburra and Aussie life (around minute 16 - 40.00).

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Happy #Bastille Day #FrenchRevolution

Happy Bastille Day!
This Thursday, 14th July, France celebrates the storming of the Bastille on 14th July, 1789, an important event in Paris during the revolution that had begun two days beforehand. Celebrations are held all over the country, and it is a public holiday.

And the rural village at the foot of the Monts du Lyonnais in which I live will celebrate with a party, and fireworks to round everything off.

Storming of the Bastille

To celebrate this epic event, I'm running a limited time FREE offer of my novel, Spirit of Lost Angels, part of which takes place during the French Revolution.

Extract from Chapter 39 of Spirit of Lost Angels…

More and more people massed around the burning fortress, smoke flapping into the grim sky like a hero’s flag. Whole families streamed onto the streets. They brought their children, their dogs, to see the fiery spectacle.

I watched Aurore, caught up in the dancing, chanting revellers, and still I could not entice her away from that bloody, triumphant scene. I was about to leave on my own when I heard, amidst the din, a voice calling.

‘Come, Rubie.’

I spun around, wondering whoever was addressing me. My eyes scanned the knot of unfamiliar faces, but besides Aurore, I knew nobody. I heard the voice again. ‘Rubie.’

Whoever would be calling me? Still I recognised no one, then I glimpsed the face of a young girl wearing a scarlet dress, and my hand flew across my mouth.

She was some distance away, but I could make out the cinnamon-coloured curls. My own ten-year old face. I could have sworn too, she was wearing a necklace––a small angel carving perhaps, threaded onto a strip of leather. I felt giddy, and held Aurore’s arm to stop myself fainting.

The girl had turned from me and was vanishing into the crowd. I started pushing people aside, stepping on feet, shoving my way through the throng.

‘Rubie, Rubie, wait. Wait! Don’t leave me again!’ I thought I would burst with desire, with hope, and with the fear I wouldn’t reach her.

Like the river in a summer drought, the girl receded from me, further and further. Then she was gone.

Get your FREE copy of Spirit of Lost Angels here

Friday, 9 June 2017

#Australia #psychologicalsuspense novel #promo

For a week beginning today, Friday 9th June, The Silent Kookaburra, my psychological suspense novel set in 1970s Australia, will be on a Kindle Countdown Deal promotion for only 99c/p.

Extract from The Silent Kookaburra Chapter 9...

‘Hey, Tanya, great to see you,’ he said in the dreamy ocean voice. He sat beside me on my rock, scratched Steely’s head and handed me another bag of Redskins and Milk Bottles.

‘Yum. Thanks, Uncle Blackie.’

We sat in silence while I munched through the Milk Bottles.

‘Did you know he’s the best camouflaged lizard?’ I said, pointing to a frilled-neck lizard the same colour as the rock on which it was sunning itself.

‘Oh yes, a master chameleon,’ Uncle Blackie said. ‘So, managing to keep your chin up at home, Tanya? I gather things’ve got pretty bad?’

I shrugged, my fingers flying to the cowlick. ‘Yeah, pretty bad what with … with everything.’

‘I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. I’m guessing you’re a strong girl who can cope with a lot, but just know I’m here if you need to talk about things.’

Uncle Blackie swiped at a fly buzzing around my leg. A hand slid down onto my knee, rough fingers rubbing at the scar. ‘What happened here?’

‘Banged into Mum’s Hill’s Hoist.’

‘That must’ve hurt.’

I shrugged again, my leg jerking away from his touch. ‘A bit.’

He cupped a hand under my chin and lifted my face to meet his dark gaze. ‘Your mum could’ve been a model,’ he said. ‘Just like you could be, Tanya.’

‘Me, a model? Oh yeah, sure.’

‘Yeah, sure,’ he said. ‘And you know what? After I met you up the bush track that first time, I had this idea.’

‘What idea?’

‘Have you thought about entering Miss Beach Girl 1973, Tanya?’

‘What’s Miss Beach Girl 1973?’

‘A beauty quest,’ Uncle Blackie said. ‘Early next year, the organisers will walk around Wollongong beaches picking out beautiful girls. The winner gets a trip to New York and a guaranteed six-month photographic modelling contract. So, the chance to become a famous model.’

‘Be cool to be a model but I’ve got Buckley’s Chance of that ever happening.’

‘Don’t be silly, you’ve got every chance in the world,’ Uncle Blackie said, and as he told me about the photographers who would photograph me in the latest-fashion clothes with jewellery and make-up that would make my eyes glitter like amber and emeralds, my cheeks grew hotter.

‘I could take some photos of you, Tanya, show you what it’s all about. If you want, that is, then you’d know exactly what it is to be a model. What do you say?’

‘Nah, everybody reckons I’ve got bat wings for ears. “Batgirl” they call me –– and I am fat. I know I am.’

‘You’ll slim down, don’t worry,’ he said. ‘Besides, those models aren’t as beautiful as they’re made out, you know, Tanya. It’s all camera angles and make believe. They’re quite plain in real life in fact. And I already told you, just wear your hair a different way and nobody will notice your ears. The same as your mum did when she was young.’

‘You’re really a photographer, Uncle Blackie?’

‘Yeah, I’m pretty good with a camera. So what do you say? No pressure, only if you want.’

‘Okay, if you really think I’ve got a chance at this beauty quest, why not?’

Buy The Silent Kookaburra for only 99c/p.

Australia's "not very silent" Kookaburra!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

#France #histfic novel 99c/p #KindlePromo

Spirit of Lost Angels, the first (standalone) novel in my French trilogy, The Bone Angel series, is on Kindle Countdown Promotion for only 99c/p on and  until Saturday 27th May.

Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots.

Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancien régime. Can she muster the bravery and skill to join the revolutionary force gripping France, and overthrow the corrupt, diabolical aristocracy?

Spirit of Lost Angels traces the journey of an angel talisman passed down through generations. The women of The Bone Angel series face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse. Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, this is a story of courage, hope and love.

Extract from Chapter 1...

Maman lit a candle and handed around bits of cloth for us to dry off. Papa pushed the sheep behind the partition, with the chickens.
My father’s brow creased as he rushed outside, and back in again.
‘Mathilde, the oak’s on fire!’ he shouted at my mother. ‘The lightning must have struck it.’ His eyes grew as wild as the madwoman who lived in the woods––the witch they forbade us to approach.
‘We’ll get water from the river to put it out?’ Grégoire said.
‘Not a chance, my son,’ Papa said. ‘The flames have taken hold. We can only pray to God the fire dies out on its own.’
Maman gripped my father’s arm. ‘Let us all pray then, Emile.’
Our heads bent, we huddled together in silence. I knew fire was the most frightening thing of all; worse than the sickness that ate your face away, or the one that made you cough blood. Lightning fires had destroyed whole villages.
Outside, the trees moaned as the wind whistled through the woods, but the rain had slowed. The twins were bored with the praying and scampered over to pet the sheep.
My father frowned, and stroked his chin; my mother fiddled with her cap.
Wood cracked, and splintered. Maman and Papa glanced at each other.

Jeanne de Valois (infamous conwoman)
 ‘Leave the sheep, Félicité, Félix,’ Maman said. ‘Come here to me.’ I could tell she was worried but my little brother and sister didn’t listen to her, and kept tugging on the wool.
A great roar and a rush of air made my ears pop, as the oak tree crashed through the roof, right on top of the sheep and chickens.
Maman screamed and threw herself at the fallen tree.
‘Run, children, go!’ Papa said.
Through the noise and the mess, I tried to reach my mother. ‘Maman, Maman!’
I wanted to hold her hand but Papa was pushing me away. ‘Go!’ he said. ‘Go, now!’
Terrified, I stumbled outside with Grégoire. Flames spurted from the roof like great orange fingers reaching for the sky, and inside, my father was still shouting at Maman.
‘Mathilde, we must get out now!’
Papa staggered from the burning cottage, dragging Maman behind him. My mother’s head whipped around as she pulled against him.
‘No, let me go. The twins!’ She dug her nails into Papa’s arm. ‘My babies … must … save my babies!’
Papa pushed her to me but Maman was heavy, and we both fell to the ground. My father ran back inside. Grégoire was brave too, tearing in after Papa, even though smoke was puffing out of the doorway, and from the hole in the roof.
‘No, Grégoire, come back.’ Maman’s voice was faint against the whooshing flames. ‘Emile, are you all right? Have you got the twins?’ she kept saying.
The villagers came running down the slope, shrieking against the noise of the fire––all talking at once so I couldn’t understand what any one of them was saying.
‘… fire start … lightning?’
‘Is everyone out …?’
‘Quick, get water … river!’
‘The will of God … a terrible thing.’
I covered my ears, Père Joffroy’s voice roaring inside my head. ‘Water and fire––embrace those symbols of purification!’
I did not understand how we could embrace a thing that was destroying our home.

Marie Antoinette
Papa and Grégoire staggered outside, clutching their throats and gasping. My father lurched towards Maman, tears rolling down his face. I had never seen him cry, and it frightened me.
Papa was shaking his head and falling into Maman’s arms, but she couldn’t hold him up and he collapsed on the ground.
The rain stopped. The storm was over, but it was hot, so burning hot that the villagers had to drag Papa further and further from the dragon fire that was feasting on our home.
Very quickly, there was nothing left, only the fireplace standing in a mess of black wood, stones and branches. The ground was a carpet of twigs, leaves and small birds, their necks bent, their eyes wide open.
I took my mother’s hand. It was floppy and cold.
‘Where’s Félicité? And Félix?’
Maman did not answer me, and her fingers closed around the talisman she wore on a strip of leather around her neck––a little bone angel carving. 

Storming of the Bastille

Ebook only 99c/p  until 27th May.