Category Archives: Self Publishing

To Love, Honour & Betray: cover preview


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I have been very quiet on the social media front in recent months.

But now that I am close to finishing Book 2 of the Belleville family saga, I wanted to share with my readers and those who are interested the new cover designs.

The cover of Book 1 – The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story – has been redesigned to relaunch with Book 2 in the saga: To Love, Honour & Betray.

When are you likely to get your hands on Book 2? End of April/early May 2017.

I’ve just got to get stuck into the last few chapters – oh, and by the way, I’m heading off on Friday on QF1 bound for the London Book Fair. I’m hoping to interest an international publisher. Fingers crossed.

More soon. This is the first viewing of the cover of book 2. Feedback is welcome.



I’ve been a little quiet lately ….

No pictures, just a quick few words to say that my second book, following on from The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story is well under way. It will contain a few surprises, I’m sure. I will let everyone know as soon as it is close to being published ……. a couple of months at most!

Now, back to work …

Excuse me, but wasn’t I meant to spend the day writing?

It is a giant mistake to think you can give your website an update in half an hour. I tell you now that is impossible, so the several Sunday hours I should have spent with my characters, progressing their lives and loves, I instead spent updating my website and learning more about the capabilities of the CMS (content management system, for the uninitiated).

I did achieve something though (I think).

For anyone interested in my writing, you can get, for free, the first four chapters of The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story (book 1 of the Belleville family saga) at this link.!free-reading/c1ktj

You can also get a short story which will form part of my ‘The Women we are’ collection from the same link.

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I sincerely hope there is a glass of wine with my name on it downstairs.

For anyone reading this blog who is waiting on Book 2 of the Bellevilles, don’t fret. It’s well under way. I promise I’ll write some more after dinner tonight …..


A free read & my first author talk booked

If you head west of Brisbane (Qld, Australia) on the highway, past Ipswich, for an hour or so, you’ll soon find yourself in the heart of the Lockyer Valley, which is where my career as a ‘speaking’ author begins on Friday 29 April 2016 – 10.00am at the Laidley Library (pictured) and 12.00 noon at the Gatton Library, which is close by.


The Lockyer Valley is an area of rich farmland. It is intensively cultivated, growing the most diverse range of commercial fruit and vegetables of any area in Australia.

The regional council (local government) runs the Library service. There are literally thousands of small libraries throughout Australia, supported by local government. I’m thrilled to be asked to speak to the locals about my book.

I’ve created a new FREE link for THE HOUSE OF SECRETS: Julia’s Story

for anyone who may be interested in dipping into the book. It’s probably hard to read the entire book this way (we use this method to create digital copies of our magazines in my day job) but it’s a good way to see if it is of interest.

I’m beavering away on Book 2 ….. more on that soon.


Authenticity the key, says Eat Pray Love author

I’m currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic – I like her style and what she has to say.

Her advice is practical – don’t give up your day job because you think it interferes with your writing, you have to pay the bills – well, that is me, paraphrasing her words from her Brisbane Writers Festival appearance.

In her latest book, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about originality versus authenticityauthenticity, she says, has quiet resonance.

I agree with her. I think every writer would like to be hailed for their originality but is that possible? Yet every work is original (well, unless there has been undetected plagiarism going on).

In fact, readers who have commented favourably on my first book say it is ‘authentic’ – I think they mean in its country setting, its understanding of the social mores of the day and the anxiety of wartime. The bombing raid sequence over Germany is carefully researched, for example. I have a shelf of Bomber Command books.

I’m really pleased when I get such feedback.

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I’ve dropped the price for the Kindle and editions of The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story – Kindle is only US$3.71 – link here if you are interested in checking it out.

I haven’t given up my day job to live on the royalties! Maybe that’s some happy day in the future to look forward to, when I have several books out there. But I enjoy the writing and the creating and that’s what is important to me.

Most of all I respond to Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice to be authentic in my writing – and in my life. I enjoy feeling a part of the writing community, especially the big online writing community.

Juggling my writing life, partially successfully

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Has it really been so long since I put my fingers to the keyboard and updated my blog? Do I have any excuses?

Well, funny you should ask. I can tell you what Roger Federer and I have in common in case you’re interested: a torn meniscus. I bet his rehab is going better than mine. Surgery was two weeks ago. The specialist said he has ‘done all he can’.  It will be six weeks before I am fully recovered and I have to do some pretty boring leg exercises.

So, I haven’t been writing much, up until yesterday, when I really got stuck into Book 2 of my Belleville family saga. I’ve heard that second books can be tricky customers but I’m getting into the story now. I find it works for me to put myself in the room with the characters as an invisible observer. It’s like planning out a movie in my head. I think about their gestures, whether they will sit or stand, whether they are angry or sociable and most importantly, what is going to happen next. With so many unresolved issues swirling around the Belleville family, there is plenty to be getting along with. Oh, and in book 2, they are all 10 years older.

Just before my leg operation, I was on duty for my day job in Canberra – if you are interested check out – I’m publisher of that group within Yaffa Media. On arriving at Canberra airport, I met an executive I know pretty well who had just come off the same flight. His first words to me were: ‘my wife loved your book’.

How great was that! Totally unsolicited. I used my professional LinkedIn account to – as I put it – shamelessly self promote my other career. He happened to be reading the LinkedIn feed on the back deck of his home while having a drink with his wife. He told her about it and she immediately downloaded the Kindle edition. So, social media works, one at a time!! I was seriously chuffed. If you don’t know the word ‘chuffed’, try ‘delighted’.

Last week, I hobbled off to see Eat! Pray! Love! author Elizabth Gilbert at a Brisbane Writers’ Festival out of season event. My husband Peter came with – bless his heart, because I counted only 10 men in the audience among several hundred women. I thought she was fabulous, talking about creativity, among other things.

And, yes, I fiddled with the cover of The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story (book 1) again – new version above.

That’s all folks!

Another tiny step in my author life

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Well, as expected, Rocky turned on the heat for the author day at the local library: 33 degrees C = 91.4 degrees F. Bright, hot and sunny.

What was the best thing about the event? Catching up with my cousins whom I hadn’t seen in a while and relieving them of a bit of cash – they bought some copies of my book.

Cousin Christine has even read it and sent me a Facebook message saying she really enjoyed it and where’s the next instalment? Hey, guys, I’m too busy trying to get the first one out there!

Next best thing was meeting a romance author Alyssa J Montgomery who does a mixture of self publishing and traditional publishing …. and seems very successful at it. (Envy, envy!) Lovely person. She’s a speech therapist by day.

Unlikely conversation:

Me: Hello, and what are your reading interests?

Other person: Oh, I don’t read. I’m just here to support a friend.

My thought bubble: Who doesn’t read? Seriously? It’s the one thing I hate about travel and being away from home …. I don’t have access to my books.

So, an interesting experience. Others were much better prepared than me, but many were writing about local or family history.

I’ve included some pictures I took on the day, including one of where I used to live as a teenager with my parents, who owned a cattle (beef) property. So as not to intrude on the current owners I pulled up on the side of the road and just took a shot from afar. All you can glimpse is the roof of the house which was a typical Queensland timber home.

I also talked to the local newspaper reporter – the local newspaper is The Morning Bulletin so hopefully they will, out of local interest, publish a story about my new career.