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  1. Call to Juno (A Tale of Ancient Rome Book 3) by Elisabeth Storrs

    I am delighted to share my review of Elisabeth Storr’s Call to Juno, the third book in the Tales of Ancient Rome saga, which includes The Wedding Shroud and The Golden Dice. I haven’t read the first two in this series.

    “Four unforgettable characters are tested during a war between Rome and Etruscan Veii.
    Caecilia has long been torn between her birthplace of Rome and her adopted city of Veii. Yet faced with mounting danger to her husband, children, and Etruscan freedoms, will her call to destroy Rome succeed?
    Pinna has clawed her way from prostitute to the concubine of the Roman general Camillus. Deeply in love, can she exert ...
  2. A small collection of poems

    A friend told me recently I should write poetry. I found these poems tucked away in my files. Some are nearly twenty years old! I make no pretensions when it comes to being a poet, but I do like this little offering. I hope you do too.



    In the silence of the night
    I dream
    Waking dreams
    Of whirling
    In time so still
    A vortex of tense nothingness.  (1998)


    We all have our wounds, kind sir
    The willows weep
    branches billow in fractured sunlight
    My mother’s curse

    Mary in yonder days
    Scant eyes upon the widow’s peak
    In the icicle cold ways ...
  3. Charles La Trobe and my visit to the State Library of Victoria

    It’s funny, the places a writing project will take you, especially when the project is historical fiction. Last week I visited the State Library of Victoria. I wanted to view the building, explore the library and talk with librarians. I didn’t allow sufficient time. I needed a whole day.

    To start my little tour, I went to stand by the statue of Victoria’s first governor. Charles La Trobe is a member of the aristocratic La Trobe-Bateman family. He and his cousin, book illuminator and garden designer Edward La Trobe, both came to Australia in the 1800s, while the rest of the family remained in Britain. It was Charles La Trobe’s ...
  4. Mayan Mendacity by L.J.M. Owen

    Dr Elizabeth Pimms has a new puzzle.
    What is the story behind the tiny skeletons discovered on a Guatemalan island? And how do they relate to an ancient Mayan queen?
    The bones, along with other remains, are a gift for Elizabeth. But soon the giver reveals his true nature. An enraged colleague then questions Elizabeth’s family history. Elizabeth seeks DNA evidence to put all skeletons to rest.
    A pregnant enemy, a crystal skull, a New York foodie, and an intruder in Elizabeth’s phrenic library variously aid or interrupt Elizabeth’s attempts to solve mysteries both ancient and personal.

    My Review (written for Sisters in Crime) ...
  5. Special announcement – Mawson bear reads The Drago Tree!

    “Mawson: Lanzarote sounds like a magical place, Captain Angus.
    Captain Angus: It’s real, Mawson. Look, pirates went there.”
    I am truly honoured that Mawson bear has picked up a copy of The Drago Tree, and he seems to be enjoying it too! Never underestimate the intelligence of a bear! Here’s what he has to say about my book:
    “For readers who love layered levels of feeling and thought expressed in fine language, this is your novel.”
    Aw, what a kind and thoughtful bear! You can read all of Mawson’s review here on Goodreads
    Mawson is so bright, he even manages his own website. It is filled with his ponderings – ...
  6. My 1980s Lanzarote journey in pictures

    When I left Lanzarote in 1990, I didn’t take my possessions with me. I had every intention of going back. Heaven only knows what happened to all my books, records, photos, mementoes and my clothes! Here is a photo diary of that time.
    It all started in 1988, in a basement flat in Exeter. I was Yvonne Rodgers back then. I was 26, studying for my degree, and very much into a hedonistic lifestyle.

    In January of that year, I went on holiday with my then partner, Dave, who took this photo. I call it my Marilyn Monroe shot. It was taken on the patio of Winston Churchill’s daughter’s holiday home near Arrieta.
  7. Booklovers Festival at Mill Park Library

    I’m delighted to be participating in the Booklovers Festival at Mill Park Library on this Saturday 22nd July, 2017, from 11 -3.

    All participating authors will be introducing themselves and their work, and, of course, selling their books. I’ll be sharing a table with some fine authors from Odyssey Books. Come along and meet Elizabeth Jane Corbett, whose debut novel, The Tides Between, is coming out in October and is high on my reading list; Rachel Nightingale, whose debut novel, Harlequin’s Riddle, is currently a 1# bestseller on Amazon; and Laura E. Goodin whose action and adventure novel, Mud and Glass, is receiving stunning reviews ...
  8. The Cabin Sessions signed to HellBound Books!

    As a novelist it doesn’t do to have favourites. Any more than a mother confesses her favourite child. I treasure each one of my literary babies. If I don’t, who will? After all, I gave birth to them, I did all the hard labour. And each book is special in its own way. Even that dark one with the brooding eyes, standing in the corner where the sun never shines.
    I wrote The Cabin Sessions in 2015. The story possessed me, haunted me, disturbed me. I could scarcely believe the words appearing on the page. It also made me laugh. It’s as much psychological thriller as horror and will appeal to readers of both genres. Think Deliverance meets Twin ...
  9. Asylum book launch review!

    Celebrating the two year anniversary of my debut novel! Asylum, with its searing critique of Australian refugee policy, its bitter irony, reads like historical fiction. I wrote it in 2013 and things for asylum seekers are much much worse today. I wrote the novel to help raise awareness. I decided there weren’t enough stories out there tackling this issue. That is still the case today. Asylum is semi-autobiographical too. I was a British-born visa overstayer back in 1990 and I had to jump through a lot of hoops to stay here. The only reason I was not deported – I did get a deportation order. I was 6 months pregnant with twins at the time – was because I got married.
    Read more about Asylum here.
    Grab a copy from Amazon and all good
  10. Today I’m Incredibly Excited To Be Interviewing Isobel Blackthorn Author of The Drago Tree.

  11. My venture into historical fiction begins

    I have a little announcement, and I’m feeling awfully nervous.

    For the past few weeks I’ve been throwing obstacles in the path of this. I’m beginning the demanding task of turning my doctoral thesis into a novel. Well, sort of.

    My thesis concerns a corpus, a body of obscure texts. My novel will attempt to embody the life of the author. Her name is Alice Bailey. She’s a highly controversial figure nobody outside New Age and conspiracy theory circles has heard of. Yet her writing has been enormously influential on the world stage and it is easy to show how. Her life is colourful and interesting too, with themes many will relate to, including domestic violence, elitism and exclusion, jealousy and ...
  12. On The Stella Prize

    Isn’t fabulous when a UK online magazine site takes an interest in Australian fiction? That’s the view of Shiny New Books, an independent book recommendations website, who invited me to write a piece on The Stella Prize for their readers.

    I’d been following with interest the progress of The Stella Prize ever since the first winner was announced in 2013. Back then, I was yet to publish my debut novel and I was filled with wonder and a healthy measure of envy when Carrie Tiffany received her much-deserved award for Mateship With Birds.
    Writing for Shiny New Books saw me delving into the backstory and I marvelled at how such a prestigious ...
  13. How I started writing horror

    A year ago today I shared my review of Liam Brown’s Wild Life, after being invited by Legend Press to be part of the author’s blog tour. (Read my review here)

    Wild Life is a disturbing read, dark, gothic, raw. It falls into that tradition of dark fiction the British do so well, one that includes Iain Bank’s debut novel, The Wasp Factory, a book I read shortly after it was published in the 1980s.
    By the time I was reviewing Wild Life, I had just finished writing my first work dark fiction. I was yet to enter the realm of horror in any real sense. I didn’t identify as a horror fiction author. I still had my head up in the literary ...
  14. The Alex Legg Memorial Foundation has a new website!

    I’m delighted to share the ALMF website and announce their annual music scholarship which is open to applicants based in Melbourne and surrounds.
    2016 scholarship co-winner Zac SaberThe Alex Legg Memorial Foundation began in early 2015, after musical legend Alex Legg passed away the previous December. The ALMF are a hard-working and dedicated bunch of musicians local to the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, who all knew and loved Alex. Each week they run an open mic in Oscar’s Alehouse, Belgrave.

    And every ...
  15. The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose – book review

    Heather Rose has produced a work of considerable finesse. The Museum of Modern Love sets a high bar for Australian literary fiction.

    “Arky Levin is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has asked him to keep one devastating promise. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovíc in The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky. As he watches and meets other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.”
    It is always a delight to read an intelligent book. ...