About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Cloak of Challiver

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
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Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
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Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 - a reading restrospective


My reading intentions for 2012 grew faster than I could possibly work my way down the list. I now have a to-be-read shelf that holds over 90 books – and that’s not counting the ones lurking on my nice new Kindle, which family members bought for me for Christmas! So I have enough material to keep me going right through 2013 and well beyond!

I tried out Kindle for Desktop and Kindle for iPhone before taking the plunge and asking the family to chip in for a Kindle hand-held device. I decided on a Kindle because it is not backlit and is therefore pretty easy on the eyes. So far, I’m really pleased with it. The only thing that gave me any trouble was getting Kindle books not purchased from Amazon off my computer and onto the device, which was a frustrating exercise. I finally discovered a way of doing it that involved plugging the Kindle into the computer via a USB port, doing a search for the required title in Kindle for Desktop in Windows Explorer and then dragging and dropping the file from Explorer to the Kindle. I could not, for some reason, just drag the title from Kindle for Desktop to the plugged-in Kindle. Amazon, I suppose, would much prefer that I bought all books from them, so they weren’t going to make it easy for me!

I’ve read quite a bit of non-fiction, as usual, ranging from The Anne Boleyn Collection by Claire Ridgeway to a number of ‘how-to-write’ books, such as Marketing for Authors, by Anna Revel. One non-fiction book I especially liked was Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones by Bryan Cogman. I utterly adore the GRR Martin books and the HBO DVDs based on them, so fannish material relating to the series goes down well in my house! In addition to the non-fiction, I read no fewer than 172 short stories for the Aurealis Awards, and at least another eighty for the ASIM slush pile! And that's without even thinking of the books and theses I've critiqued or edited for clients! The list of novels, therefore, is a bit shorter than usual. Here it is, with a few comments:

 Daughter of Hope by Joanna Fay: A disclaimer here – Jo is a personal friend and I had the privilege of critiquing this book during its creation. Jo is one of the most imaginative people I’ve ever met and this book reflects that, in spades! You can buy the e-book from Musa. Be sure to watch out for the sequel, coming very soon!

 Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - and its sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight. This series promises to be a winner in the trilogy realm. The story is truly original and the characters very different from the archetypal stock characters so often found in fantasy.  

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger – a teenage romp with a nod in the direction of steampunk. A short, easy read and lots of fun. Watch out for others in the series, too.  

John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk – a somewhat ‘literary’ novel with speculative elements. It’s beautifully written, rather along the lines of Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth, but the story is somewhat slight.

Vengeance by Ian Irvine and its sequel, Rebellion - the beginnings of another promising trilogy, with lots of adventure and plot twists. Irvine is a master of the cliff hanger and I sat up far too late on some nights as a result!  

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie – this has got to be one of the best books of 2012. It’s definitely my top pick, being at least as good as Abercrombie's first book, The Blade Itself, which I don’t think he’s ever bettered until now.  

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier , and also Flame of Sevenwaters from the same pen – that of another friend and one of my favourite authors. Like fans all over the world, I hang out for Juliet Marillier's next book every year! Fortunately, she is a prolific writer and this year we got not only another Sevenwaters book but the start of a brand-new series that could well rival its older sibling. I’m now hanging out for the sequel to Shadowfell!

Stormlord's Exile by Glenda Larke - still another friend from conventions and the blogosphere! (Perth is a small place and has produced more than its fair share of excellent writers.) I think this might even be Larke’s best book to date. She gets better with every tome to hit the shelves. However, she’s worth reading right from the start, with her debut novel Havenstar now available as an e-book on Smashwords.  

Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacourt - if this book is any guide, this series constitutes a fun romp around the suburbs of Perth with an adventurous young woman who can read auras and therefore see when people are up to no good. An easy read and well worth a look.

The Aphrodite Inheritance by Michael J, Bird – this drama is a blast from the past, now available as an e-book. I absolutely adored the TV series written by Bird in the 1970s, and in fact I still have all of them, converted to DVD format. All Bird’s scripts were set in the Greek islands, and this alone is a good enough reason to make them keepers!  

The Gallows Thief by Bernard Cornwell. I also read several books in the Sharpe series by this author, but some volumes seem to have been lost in one of my many moves from one house-sit to another, and as I want to read them in chronological order the project has ground to a halt until I can find or replace the missing books. I love Cornwell’s work as his historical research is so thorough, but I like his first person books better than those written in the third person as he tends to use an omniscient viewpoint involving a good deal of head-hopping, which I find a tad irritating.  

The Missing Case (Hal Junior 2) by Simon Haynes, yet another friend. I had the privilege of editing the first of the Hal Junior Books, and it was a hoot! This one is just as good and highly recommended for the senior primary age group.  

To Spin a Darker Stair by Tehani Wessely (ed) – wow, this is one of the treasures of 2012. Two novellas, back to back, each one a gem. Again, I must confess to friendship with the editor. I think all Tehani’s colleagues would agree with me that she is one of the best editors of short fiction in this country. She has further consolidated her position with Epilogue - twelve solid, workmanlike stories from twelve of Australia’s best SF short story writers. Like its predecessor, After the Rain, the theme of this anthology centres on what might happen in a post-apocalyptic world. Unlike After the Rain, however, Epilogue presents a face of hope, with each story having an upbeat quality that makes us consider the indomitability of the human spirit.  

Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch takes us on another helter-skelter ride with DC Peter Grant, the cop-cum-apprentice magician who can see ghosts. If you haven’t discovered Aaronovitch yet, you’re missing a treat! You can find reviews of most of these books (and many more) over at The Specusphere.

Here’s to many happy hours of reading in 2013!
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