Archive for November, 2014

Carnival of Flowers

   “A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in—what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him, the stars.”

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

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Rose and Thistle auto corrected

   I have decided to use my blog post this week to launch my latest short novel. Several of my books have developed from my interest and research into Australia’s early colonial and penal history. Travel through the south pacific islands of New Caledonia, Norfolk and Tasmania (formerly known as Van Diemen’s Land) uncovered a rich vein of material, ripe for exploration. Among these books are three historical/romance novels for young adult and older readers. The final book in this trilogy, The Rose and the Thistle, has just been released and is available in the Amazon kindle store.

   A brief Prologue opens the story and I’ve enclosed it below, offering readers a taste of the adventures lying between its virtual covers. Enjoy!

What could be more breath-taking than a first experience of sunrise over the wide open sea? Mary Alworth gazed in wonder at the rising sun’s pathway of molten gold.  It spread before her, refracting into a thousand shimmers—dancing like brilliant flames of fire—over the rise and fall of the Atlantic swells. But she had another task to accomplish and a personal ritual to fulfill, and this was the time to complete it.  

   Moving across the deck of the Harriet, now under full sail, Mary found a place near the prow where she would be alone. Removing a large brass key from her pocket and holding it up she spoke to the rolling breakers.  ‘Right now my step father will be searching the house, trying in vain to find me. I locked my bedroom door from the outside and when he forces it open, everything of mine will be gone. I have all my possessions with me on this ship. Nothing remains.’

   She raised her arm and, leaning forward, deliberately threw her key into the waves. For only a moment its brass surface gleamed in the sunlight before it sank into the depths. Then, standing tall, she spoke to the wind. ‘Finally I am liberated and on my way to Van Diemen’s Land, far away in the South Pacific Ocean. Here, at the ends of the earth, I will never be found. Now I have broken all the ties that bind me to him and to London. At last I am free.’


To purchase this book from the Amazon kindle store click
For the USA: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O3R7VTO
For Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00O3R7VTO
For Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00O3R7VTO
For the United Kingdom: http://www.Amazon.co.uk/dp/B00O3R7VTO

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Bloomomg bed

   “The beauty of that day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing.”

Dan Simmonds, Drood

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Carnival of Flowers 3

For ten glorious days in October, the garden city of Toowoomba plays host to a Carnival of Flowers. Australia’s most populated inland city is nestled high in the woodlands, along the crest of the Great Dividing Mountain Range. Boasting more than 150 parks and gardens, Toowoomba enjoys four distinct seasons, rich deposits of volcanic soil, and an altitude suitable for growing an endless variety of trees and flowers.

Festival of Flowers

During the carnival, the city bursts into life with visitors from near and far as they enjoy the Grand Parade of floral floats, marching brass and pipe bands, and street performances. Everyone enters enthusiastically  into the various garden competitions. The carnival agenda always culminates with a visit to Queens Park, to enjoy and photograph breathtaking displays of floral designs, set out in a riot of shapes and colours.

Toowoomba Festival

A not-to-be-missed visit to Picnic Point and the University of Southern Queensland’s Japanese Garden will further enhance each visit. The carnival’s floral and garden design classes, the accompanying wine and locally grown food festival, superb restaurants and cafes, and concerts galore, all add to Toowoomba’s unique celebration of nature, in all her glory.

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