Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thanks to Wendy for her great review [below] of Crossroads from Isca, my Roman Britain book. You can check out Wendy at her blog
Review of Crossroads at Isca. 
Togas, Tribunes and Taboos.
Crossroads at Isca draws us into the lives of Romans and Britains in a conquered land. We become part of a local family, or tribe, who rebel against Roman authority, in their different ways. This is a story about betrayal, manipulation, love, honour, duty and fear. Set during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138AD), Isca refers to a Roman legionary fortress and settlement, in South Wales on the plains below the ancient village of Ceobury. The two cultures clash and exploit each other. We watch both camps try to cooperate but also manipulate each other in order to survive and thrive, and our sympathies are constantly changing.
The story hooked me right from the start. I have grave concerns for the two cousins who are unaware of the potential betrayer in their midst. Marella, the dancer, is headed for trouble and she's determined to take Faine, the singer, with her. Faine is a sensible young woman but there is a Roman tribune, Titus, who intrigues her and who is infatuated with her.
I applaud the author, Laurel Lamperd, for her thorough research. This book is rich in history. It has everything from everyday life in the primitive village, where we become part of a family; eating, drinking, laughing, crying and journeying with them, even burying them, to kidnapping, murder and human sacrifice. We come to understand the significance of pagan sacrifice, on the one hand, and on the other, how necessary high priests are and how they become revered. We face the evil from within the clan, admire the strength of the women who carve out their own destiny against impossible odds, and respect the attributes of the Romans.
Lamperd creates believably flawed characters who drive the gripping plot, and she doesn’t shy away from the taboos of the times but handles them with the skill of a seasoned writer.
This historical adventure allows us to experience Roman Britain first hand. The story is entertaining and enlightening and encourages us to question our own values. Would we succumb in the circumstances?
I must admit, I enjoy everything from this author’s pen.
Highly recommended.
Wendy Laharnar
Author-The Unhewn Stone.

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Buy a print copy of Substitute Bride from
Emma Napier helps her friend run away from an unwelcome marriage. She meets Lord Desborough who is looking for a temporary wife. He thinks Emma is the perfect choice.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I wrote this poem because rising salt is proving to be a silent disaster in the farm lands of Western Australia.
The native WA vegetation evolved to be salt tolerant. Many woodland species have deep roots and a high water demand.  
European farming arrived a hundred and fifty years ago, replacing the native vegetation with crops and pasture, plants with shorter roots and a need for less water.
It began the state's worst environmental crisis which has continued to the present day.
Salt has been published in E2K and Landscape magazines. 


Since the Holocene
The sea has been trapped
behind dunes. 

It roars
Like a raging lion
ready to be let loose
on the land. 

It sounds louder at night
Menacing. Threatening. 

The sheep listen
From their hillock of sand
the sea once covered. 

Between the sea and the sheep
Are salt lakes.
So much water
so much salt. 

In the wet years
The water level rises
and brings the salt.
The dry years bring starvation.
Sheep die
but the salt remains. 

Now there is less grazing land. 

It is a race between us
And the salt. 

We plant trees. 

It is war between us
And the salt. 

We plant. 

The foe is merciless.

Still we plant.

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Buy a print copy of Murder Among the Roses from
When Detective Matt Allenby goes to the small town of Taylors Crossing to investigate a murder, he thinks it will be a straightforward affair. He didn't expect to fall in love with one of his suspects.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oranges are the Bitter Fruit was first published in SWW Decades Anthology. The brief was to write a fictional short story and link it with a person who had lived. CY O'Connor [1843 - 1902] was an Irish engineer who is best known for the construction of Fremantle Harbour and the Goldfields Water Supply pipeline which carries water 530 km from Mundaring Dam near Perth to Kalgoorlie Boulder in Western Australia.
I have since published it in The Japanese Grandmother, my short story and poetry magazine.
Below is a short excerpt from the story. You can read the rest on my website at


The boy had watched the house since daylight.
Last night, he planned to break in and steal food when the occupants were asleep. Then his hunger was bearable. Now it was like a raging tiger. Getting food was all he cared about but he was frightened. He hadn't broken into a house before.
He saw the man leave on horseback early in the morning. Then some children left in a horse-drawn carriage and a woman an hour later.
For a long time, there wasn't any movement at the house and the smoke had cleared from the chimney.
When he thought it safe, he stepped from behind a bush and glanced up and down the road. No one was in sight. He ran across to the house and climbed the fence before fear got the better of him, and jumped down into the courtyard.
It shocked him to see a young girl whom he hadn't noticed, standing at an easel, painting, in the shade of the wide verandah.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

 I wrote this poem many years ago.
It was published by Ars Poetica & online
by Poetry Quay. I wonder where those
publications are now.
However, I'm glad to air the poem again. 
I hope you enjoy it.


She sent a card
In sympathy for Tom's death
with a note attached.
She had got religion
and wanted to atone
for the affair she and Tom
had in that mining town
forty years ago. 

Our children were in nursery school.
I thought she was my friend
But in preserving
her peace of mind
she has shattered mine.

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Download from
Book Two in the Walara series.
Danny and Will Hennessy join the forces and go to fight in WW2, leaving their father, Jack Hennessy, to manage the huge Walara property on his own. 

Friday, June 8, 2012


Footballers was published in the West Australian Newspapers about forty years ago. It was one of the first stories I'd had published. You can imagine I was thrilled to bits to read my story in a state newspaper. Sadly, the West Australian doesn't publish short stories and poetry now. Another avenue for writers closed. Footballers is also published in my download anthology, The Japanese Grandmother.
I've included an excerpt from the story. You can read the rest on my website

Kenny saw his father’s football trophies in the cupboard set high on the kitchen wall. Tarnished with black smudges, the silver cups gleamed dully in the afternoon sunlight shafting through the kitchen window. "You'll be up there one day too, fella," his father would say as he gave one of the silver cups to Kenny to look at.
Kenny ran his fingers over the writing. "What does it say, Dad?” he’d ask though he knew it by heart.
“Best Player in Southerners Football Team,” his father would say. 
“When’s Dad coming home?” Kenny now asked his mother. 
His mother snapped. “I don’t know. He’s too busy wasting his life and mine with his fool schemes. I told him to get out and do something. He’s not a famous footballer any more.” 
Kenny stopped listening and sidled through the door. He brushed up against the man coming in. 
The man was the new boarder. The neighbours would ask, “How’s the new boarder, Eileen?”
 His mother would say. “It’s a pleasure to have someone to cook for and who is on time for his meals.”
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

June Calamity's Corner

Calamity's Corner is four years old this month. Congratulations to Calamity for putting together such an informative, bright and interesting journal each month.
Maggi Anderson, Australian writer, is Writer of the Month.  Her article, The Fabulous Georgian Years which should make everyone sit down and write a Regency. Maggi's latest novel is The Reluctant Marquess.
Maggi says in her article that garnets were the most popular jewellery of the Regency. The Georgian era was when the wealthy and not so wealthy aristocratic society made their feeling known by giving fabulous jewels to their mistresses and lovers. 
The garnet was the most desirable jewel of the time. They were made popular by Lady Emma Hamilton, Lord Nelson's mistress.

Another feature of this month's Calamity's Corner is a web site to view the Transit of Venus safely without damaging your eyes.
Plenty more to see in Calamity's Corner: Movie and book reviews. Travel News - American espionage writer, Peter Bernhardt visits beautiful Sedona, USA.
Join Calamity's contributors - send in an Unusual Event or Feature your Pet.
Contact for a free download copy of June Calamity's Corner. A journal for Writers, Reader and Movie Buffs everywhere.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

 The Blue Vase was read on the ABC about twenty years ago. I'm glad to air it here again.


She is more
My mother's daughter
than mine.
I hear their laughter
in the living room
while I make tea
in the kitchen.

When my grandmother died
Her daughters
divided her valuables. 

From the waste heap
I rescued the blue vase. 

My grandmother told me
Her mother had brought it
from Scotland.
It had belonged
to her mother. 

The blue vase
Sits on the windowsill.
Beside it is the one
my daughter gave me
made by some modern potter. 

Beyond the living room
My granddaughter plays in the garden.
When she is grown
I shall give her
the blue vase. 

Laurel Lamperd

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Download Battle of Boodicuttup Creek at

Mitch, Shane and Leanna battle to save the Boodicuttup Creek for an injured cormorant from the developers. Suitable for 7-11 year old children.