Black Swans, Snakes and Books

Wildlife Encounters

black swans, Jenny Schwartz, paranormal romance,I visited a pretty and popular lake last week. I hoped that while I was there I’d have a chance to photograph black swans. Here in Australia, black swans are common. It’s the white ones that I consider rare. It makes me wonder about how many things we take for granted are strange to outsiders. Like me growing up with the phrase, “Have you fed the chooks?”, which just meant, someone needed to take the scrap bucket out to the chickens and empty it. Yep. Aussies call hens, chooks. It can even be a sign of friendship to be called an old chook!

Back on topic. I did get the photo of black swans. A happy black swan family was enjoying the sun, the cygnets nearly adult. But I also encountered a whole lot more…

tiger snakes perth, Jenny Schwartz, That’s right. Snakes!

I’m not so fond of snakes, especially the poisonous ones that Australia specialises in. A guy walking his dog (don’t worry, the dog was safely away from the snakes) identified them as tiger snakes. I’m not a hundred percent convinced (they could be brown snakes or dugites for all I know), but it did open the door to an interesting story.

Enter the hero of this story, a seagull.

gull and tiger snake, Jenny Schwartz

Just off the coast is a small limestone island named Carnac. It’s a nesting place for a noisy seagull colony. It’s also home to a whole lot of tiger snakes. Seagull parents defend their nests by pecking out the eyes of resident snakes. Today, I could see this gull thinking about whether to fight these snakes. However, his nest wasn’t nearby and the snakes are juveniles, so our gull hero let them go.

I took my photos and prudently retreated, too.

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

magic binds, ilona andrews, paranormal romance,Today is release day for Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews. It’s going to be hard to concentrate on my work. I think I’ll probably shut down the computer early and dive into my kindle. I love the Kate Daniels series and I feel like I’ve been waiting for Magic Binds for ages.


Dawn of the Infected by Eileen Cruz Coleman

Dawn of the Infected, zombie, apocalypse, I’m such a cowardly custard about reading horror, but Dawn of the Infected by Eileen Cruz Coleman was raw and immediate. I think the first person, present tense style helped with that. How would an ordinary person respond to the apocalypse? To be honest, I doubt I’d be very effective as a fighter. But maybe I’d be magic like the heroine of Dawn of the Infected? There’s lots happening in this prequel novella: angels, vampires, fae.

A Leap of Faith by Trisha Ashley

leap of faith, trisha ashley,One of the things I love about ebooks is that every so often a book I loved, but which has gone out of print, makes a return. With A Leap of Faith by Trisha Ashley, it’s been re-issued. I have an old paper copy from when it was called The Urge to Jump and I’ve recommended the novel to loads of people – but it was hard to get a copy. It’s a great example of using present tense to establish a strong narrative voice. If you like quirky and opinionated British women’s fiction, A Leap of Faith is fun.

The Jinx Hamilton Witch Mysteries by Juliette Harper

jinx mysteries, juliette harperThe Jinx Hamilton Witch Mysteries by Juliette Harper are fun! They’re an easy-read amble in a cozy North Carolina town with witches and ghosts and a magic shop. Like eating chocolate 🙂 They were a lovely, fortuitous discovery last week.


Alchemy Shift – Cover Reveal Soon!

Alchemy Shift will be out October 27. Mark your calendars, because this bear-shifter hero is tough, honourable and utterly lovable.


7 Replies to “Black Swans, Snakes and Books”

  1. Well darn, I was hoping moving from the east coast to the west coast meant I’d be leaving the snakes behind. The swans are beautiful though and yes, I suppose we do have several uninviting creatures inhabiting our sunburnt country. Good thing we’re trained from birth to check our boots, look under the toilet seat, and keep a thong (flip flops) handy though. 😉

    1. LOL I wonder if we’re the only country in the world that trains our kids to check under the toilet seat before sitting? My great-uncle only had an old dunny separate to the house. I kid you not, that thing leaned and even if you really, really had to go … you got in the car and went to the shops and used theirs!

  2. I’ve never seen black swans in the flesh. They’re gorgeous! But I can do without the snakes. Sometimes it seems everything in Australia is out to kill you. 🙂 I’d be afraid to get near any wildlife out there.

    I still want to go there though. You only live once!

    1. The snakes would probably slither away, but the swans can attack – if they’re protecting young ones. So, um, yeah – everything IS dangerous in Australia, but visit us anyway 🙂

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, Ann. I’m an armchair traveller mostly, so I love looking at other people’s photos – it’s nice to be able to share a few of my own 🙂