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A new lease of life for my books

As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

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 Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

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
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Monday, 12 May 2014

Book Review: Black Ships (Numinous World, #1) by Jo Graham

Black Ships (Numinous World, #1)Black Ships by Jo Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This review was originally published in August 2008 on the now defunct webzine, The Specusphere,



Jo Graham’s debut novel arose out of a long-time interest in Ancient History. She also loves the old stories, including The Aeneid. Her knowledge of history made her realise that Aeneas could not possibly have founded Carthage because that city did not exist at the time of the Trojan Wars, when The Aeneid is set. So she re-wrote the classic tale, focussing on characters fleshed out from mere mentions in the original and giving the story an Egyptian twist. Black Ships is the result.

Graham has given us, as first person point-of-view character, a girl named Gull, born in slavery in Pylos where her mother had been sold as a prize of war. She grows up to become Pythia, seer and priestess of Persephone, and when Prince Aeneas arrives with his nine warships and three fishing boats to rescue the captives, the course of her life is irrevocably altered. She must decide between her sacred calling and a perilous adventure – fleeing from slavery to be guide to her people and especially to Aeneas.

The Aeneid has a story worth telling again and again, and if you do not mind reading a version that departs from the original tale and tells it with a new voice, you will love this book. Graham takes us right inside the culture and society that spawned Gull and her fellow captives, giving us along the way credible glimpses of life in the palace of the Pharaohs. She also shows us what it was like to sail the Mediterranean in ships that were barely seaworthy and to be shipwrecked on land that was barely habitable. And always, the ground bass of The Aeneid plays in the background with Graham’s tale playing a melodious counterpoint.

The Aeneid is, of course, an epic tale, and enjoyable and well written as Graham’s spin-off is, the reader sometimes feels rushed. Whole decades are glossed over as the author fights to squeeze the story into less than 400 pages and one cannot help but feel that a more leisurely pace, perhaps spreading Gull’s story over two books, might have been preferable. Even so, this is a fine debut novel, suitable for all age groups. It will be treasured by anyone who, like the author, loves history and mythology.



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Monday, 5 May 2014

Book review: Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley

Winterbirth (The Godless World, #1)Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This review originally appeared on the now defunct webzine, The Specusphere, in January 2008. I wrote it in conjunction with my friend Joan Malpass.

Ruckley's debut novel tells of war and violence set in a land torn apart by the breaking of a truce. If Ruckley is to be believed, the greatest tales are written in blood. In this first book of a trilogy, he sets out to demonstrate that through lavishly described hard and heavy action set in a godless world of ice and blood. The adventure begins when the Gods have made the world and created the five races. Now the gods are absent as the third age arrives, bringing chaos. The struggle lies between those who each believe their way is right: the way in which all wars begin.

The weapons are age old, the skills even older. Swift and violent battles rage and always the blood runs. Those few who seek peace are lost in the chaos as they strive for a different future. Action drives the tale as the battles of the Thanes of the True Bloods are played out. Their cruelty, passion and blood lust are paralleled by the quest of one man seeking to ‘activate in full the terrible power he senses in himself’. And all will tremble if he should succeed.

Winterbirth might appeal to a wider audience if one or more of the female characters had been developed. Such inclusion as there is of the softer side of life is little more than token. There are three potentially interesting female characters - Anyara, Yvane and Ess'yr. (As an aside, why on earth do so many fantasy writers think apostrophes essential to exotic names?) If one of them had been used to provide more of a foil for the blood and thunder, it might have been easier to cope with the continual marching-fighting-marching-fighting. As it stands, Winterbirth comes across as a rather confusing story about a great many macho men dumped in a wild setting and left to fight it out. This is a book with huge cast of characters, but sadly, none is sufficiently clearly drawn to make us interested in his or her personal journey. Fantasy's greatest strength, perhaps, lies in its capacity to depict an outer journey as a cipher for the inner one, and Winterbirth didn't do that, at least, not for these reviewers.

But there's no denying that Winterbirth has the capacity to haunt in shades of red. For those who like their heroic battles well steeped in blood and action this could well be the start of a satisfying journey.

Bloodheir, The Godless World Part Two and Fall of Thanes, The Godless World Part Three are also available on Amazon. For more about Brian Ruckley and his work, check out http://www.brianruckley.com 



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