Posts Tagged ‘Tasmania’

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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The sunrise was glorious this morning and I’m standing under a powder blue sky, speechless at the array of flowers spread before me. Dew still clings to their vibrant petals as they lift themselves toward the sun.

The plantings in my friend’s heritage garden first captured my attention. Based on an original design from the 1840s, masses of snapdragons, forget-me-nots, scarlet impatients and brown-eyed Susans are offset by tall stalks of hollyhocks and larkspur. Beds of roses and French lavender perfume the air. Several large Mock-orange shrubs, together with mature elms and towering oaks, define the height of its scale. But I’m not here only to gaze at this lovingly tended spread on the D’Entrecasteau Peninsula, in Tasmania’s Lower Snug. I’m here on a mission with my camera, ready to capture photos of these beauties in their early morning freshness.

Later I view and edit the morning’s work on my computer screen. To my surprise other visitors―nature’s miniature helpers―also appear within the plants to feast on their sweet nectar and gather pollen. One little ant descends along the stem of a passionfruit blossom, its tiny body resembling three gleaming black beads.


Nearly hidden from sight in the cup of a pink lily, two small ladybugs nestle. The first buzzing sound of arriving bees became a roar as they swarmed over the face of each flower, busily gathering pollen for the return flight home.

It’s an absolute delight to peer down into this minuscule universe as one insect after another comes into view. Each group is uniquely different from all the others in this kingdom. And like the flowers each one is exquisitely made.


My camera has captured them at work. These small creatures all labour tirelessly, displaying a total dedication to their purpose. They move so quickly―with feverish speed―pausing only to connect with one another by brushing their antennas or performing a dance.

Insects keep the environment clean by carrying away decaying plant material and dead insects. They propagate the plants that feed us while their spread of pollen maintains our rich biodiversity. To ensure their protection, insects are also masters of camouflage as their bodies provide food for larger birds and animals.


There are many variations within these tiny creatures that are as interesting to observe as the beauty of the flowers that shelter and sustain them. I have grown to enjoy insects because they are so unusual. It’s fun to watch and study them in our world of living creations, both great and small.



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