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…
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.
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
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
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
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
The 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.