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The River and the Ravages Giveaway!

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Hooray! Pre-order is here

It’s really lovely to be kicking off my third newsletter with news about my upcoming book. I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself right now. I’ve arranged a pre-order for all you fine folk who are looking forward to the next book and want to lock it now. And the title of book two will be…wait…drum roll…

The Tempest and the Turning

I’m incredibly excited by this one. It’s been going great. But hey, I’m bias. You be the judge! The book blurb goes like this…

You can’t run from who you are…

Aaliya, a woman with blood on her hands and a past to bury, sets off on a journey across the heart of The Reach determined to start a new life.

By her side is her sister, Maddalena, a self-proclaimed sibling rescuer and unabashed political schemer, who’s determined to use her smarts to lead an easy life.

When they come across burnt ruins in a remote corner of the realm, it becomes clear the past is never buried, the present is far from safe, and their brittle plans have just been shattered. 

As war looms and threatens to turn The Reach to ash, both must make choices about the power they hold and what’s worth fighting for.

In a world where storms rage and lives turn…where blades are sharp, words are sharper, and alliances the deadliest weapon of all…they are about to discover you can’t run from who you are.

Interested? Intrigued? The book will be available in April 2019…which probably seems like a long time away, but soon it will be Christmas, and then it will be Easter…you get the picture. Pre -order your copy at For those of you who prefer a print copy, I’ll include the pre-order details for print in the next newsletter.

Luck favours the prepared mind.

Sharp Objects

I’m currently giving the HBO show Sharp Objects a go. It could be a bit tough. I’ve just finished The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 which was gritty, compelling, bleak, wonderful, terrifying, did I mention bleak. There were just enough rays of hope coming through to keep me going. I got through Season 1 (and loved it) but found myself nearly turning my back on Season 2 after the first three episodes. The torture of women just too much to bear. But I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. I’m utterly in awe of Margaret Atwood and the dystopian world she created back in 1985. She wrote a true masterpiece with that one.

Sharp Objects is a (dark) tale of a young woman returning to her hometown to investigate a murder and who’s got some rather grim psychological and family issues to work through along the way. I love Amy Adams but the alcoholism, the broken characters, girls going missing and being murdered…oh my it’s a lot to take on when I just want to watch a bit of telly.

I’m certainly open to options and being swayed from my current viewing. Anyone watching something that really kicks-ass?

Back from the Grampians

Took myself and the kids on a rather fine jaunt to the Grampians National Park during the school holidays. Just what this lady needed. Crisp air, wild places, adventure. It was freezing cold, could hardly get the car started most mornings, but the mist, the drizzle, the frost…I loved it all. The kids were ace fun to hang around with. We did some speccy walks and rock climbed and played heaps of board games. There was no WI-FI (genius!!) so we all did lots of reading. We stayed on a farm in the most beautiful valley I’ve ever seen, the constant sound of bleeting sheep a rather pleasant part of the trip. Didn’t get any writing done…there was just too much adventure to be had. But I’ll certainly be drawing on my memories when I write some scenes. Ohh that valley. Stunning.

For me, heading to nature is an emotional experience. I crave time in wilderness. The word emotion comes from the Latin verb “to move away”. It’s an instinctive response aimed at assisting with self-preservation. I know that if I don’t get myself into a natural environment every couple of months, I wither, feel flat. The world seems to become a bit greyer. Something about being surrounded by mountains, trees and big sky that charges my soul.

If you haven’t had a nature fix lately, try to fit one in. I’m going to play doctor here for a moment. It literally is incredible medicine. I’m not saying head to a big national park if that’s not your thing. You’re likely to get the same benefits from being in a local park. Just be sure to take a book. (Preferably mine 🙂

A big, mushy plead and grovel

It is almost impossible for me to find a stigma-free way of admitting my need for reassurance. Alas, I’m a human being. So I’m just going to say it in the kindest possible way. Please rate and review The River and the Ravages on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s likely to only take you a minute or two, but for me it’s like the most amazing gift of kindness. If I could I would shower you with confetti, break out the champagne, have fighter jets roar across the sky trailing a message of thank you with your name on the end. Those of you who have already rated and reviewed, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Warmth and gratitude to you all.

You’re enough

When the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was asked to sum up what all philosophical commandments could be reduced to, he replied: ‘Know yourself.’

A bit of philosophy is not a usual way to end a newsletter, and I’ll be the first to admit my absolute lack of qualifications for talking about big topics like wellbeing and the meaning of life, but it just felt important to put those two words ‘know yourself’ front and centre again amongst the dizzying amount of information out there about wellness. It sounds simple enough but those two words seem to be lost in the whole happiness pursuit thing that is taking over our lives.

Aspiration is a deeply personal thing. And it’s a wonderful thing. I aspire to be an author that many people enjoy reading. I like having a goal. It makes me feel good about myself. But aspiration has become far more than a personal goal. It’s a major industry. We now aspire to be people so far removed from who we are there’s barely any resemblance between the two. ‘Wellness’ websites are prolific and pretty darn seductive when we’re feeling a bit low about ourselves. It’s likely to be a whole lot cheaper and better over the long term (for our wellness funnily enough) to take our shoes off and walk through soft sand or cuddle our loved ones or help someone with their shopping.

This stuff can be as simple or as complicated as we choose to make it. Stay true to who you are, people. Strive to be yourself. Work towards your goal but never compromise yourself.

Let’s flick the switch and be enough to ourselves.

And always remember to quell the storm, ride the thunder.

Have a wonderful week.

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