Pink Flowering Gum Week

pink flowering gum

The pink flowering gum is a stunning burst of colour, but that’s not all that bursts this week.

Do you remember blowing bubbles as a kid? Not the magical soap bubbles that floated iridescent on the wind, but the kind that you chewed and chewed gum, blew and then, pop! Sweet, noisy and faintly disgusting. Gosh, it was great to be a kid :)

Pink Flowering Gum Week is a time to chew over a problem, take action, and if it all goes pop! guess what? Chew the problem over some more and try again.

There’s a laidback vibe to this week which makes it the perfect time to tackle a problem — not a big one, remember this is a low stress week — that’s been nagging at you. It’s also a week where your resilience is higher, so if you’re going to take a risk, you’ll have the strength to deal with the consequences — good and bad.

And you’re probably wondering, does chewing gum make you smarter? Sadly, no.

Finally — and because my dog Toby gets the paper each morning — a bubblegum adventure to enjoy courtesy of Pluto and Mickey.

The Power of Potential

potential, the power of potential, writing tips, author development,

Your potential is more powerful than your proven track record.

In “The Small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence” by Steve Martin, Noah Goldstein and Robert Cialdini they talk about how potential is incredibly attractive, so much so that there are studies into interview situations where a candidate with potential will be chosen over one with a proven track record. Potential intrigues us.

As a novelist I’m constantly writing stories of characters going on a journey, a quest. It may be an inner journey, one of personal development, or combined with an external one, to achieve or fail to achieve some ambitious goal. The point is that stories take people on a journey from who they are to who they can become.

Talent quests and reality television shows know the power of journey stories to hook viewers. That’s why the contestants that are pushed are often those with the most compelling journey ahead of them. Viewers are engaged by the contestants’ potential and commit to going on that journey with them. Will their potential be realised, and at what cost?

For a lot of us in creative industries (such as authors) self-doubt can be a terrible burden. Like elite sports people, we strive for perfection. And of course, perfection is never attainable. Even as we reach one goal, we raise the bar and strain for the next level. We constantly put pressure on ourselves, thinking that people will only like us (or rather, our work — but sometimes we confuse the two) if we are THE best.

The power of potential releases us from that burden because it says that while we need always to put out our best work, working at our craft is, in itself, a journey that readers are engaged by. Fans are on the journey with us, hooked by our potential and helping us realise it.

The power of potential applies to everyone. No matter where you’re at in your life, your light shines and people are attracted like moths to it, wanting to see how brightly you will blaze.

I’m Self-Published! Curses & Confetti is Live!

Bustlepunk, steampunk, Australian steampunk,

Ta da! “Curses and Confetti” is live! It’s up for sale on Amazon — but please do NOT buy it yet. I’ve scheduled a FREE promotion to run from September 28 till October 2 (remembering that this is American time, so half a day or so behind Australia).

I’ll remind you, but mark your diaries for two days time, and then nab your copy of “Curses and Confetti”, the third Bustlepunk Chronicle and a lovely Australian wild west urban adventure.

I love this book and I hope you will too!

It begins with all the fun of the fair (and for those who know Western Australia, I didn’t make up the fair ground in Fremantle, even if it’s vanished now)

Esme Smith and Jed Reeve are getting married. The unlikely pairing of an Australian suffragette and an American inventor is set to be the wedding of the year—until the Gypsy Oracle arrives in town, a man is killed, Jed is hopelessly compromised and Esme has to save her man and survive…Grandma!

Frangipani Ready Week


Are you ready? Frangipani week is about to hit and it’s about as subtle as the frangipani’s scent — which is to say, not at all!

Everything looks great. There’s not a cloud in the sky. Huge sigh of relief. But…

Everything looks great because you’ve been sticking your head in the sand about stuff.


Frangipani Week demands that you look up, look around and adjust your reality. Things are often not as bad as you think. But the flipside of that is that sometimes what you’ve settled for is not as good as you’re kidding yourself it is.

Look at it a different way: there’s some beach sand clinging between your toes. It’s not bad. It’s even a good memory of a recent visit to the beach. But if you wash it off, it won’t rub and irritate you. Nor will you track it through the house. In other words, let go of the small irritations so you can move forward.

Frangipani Week is a great time to shake loose some of that sand.

The Curious Author Mind

cute kitten

If you’re a reader, you share a lot in common with authors. We’re all fascinated by and unable to resist the chance to slip into another person’s life. How does it feel in their skin?

Fiction is the safe place to try out strategies for living.

I still remember the time in my late teens when I realised that no matter how I attacked life, there would be worlds forever closed to me. Worlds that I couldn’t enter because every choice has its price.

Economists talk about “opportunity cost”. For everything we choose, say “yes” to, the cost is all the other options unchosen. In books, we get to explore those options.

Is this escapism? Heck, I hope so!

We all need to be wild women (and men), but life can strangle our sense of adventure. Books give us a thread of freedom and a path back to our dreams.

You’ll often hear authors say that they have to be careful or they’ll spend too much time researching topics for their books or collecting inspirational images on Pinterest (*ahem* Yes, Chasing Xanadu does have its own Pinterest board and I seem to have gone a bit crazy dressing my heroine). What we’re really doing is indulging our curiosity.

And that’s cool. That’s healthy and natural. Curiosity is the first step to empathy. If we want to know what the other person is feeling, we’re halfway to understanding their experience. The challenge then for authors is to convey all of what they’ve learned and imagined, and open the door for readers’ own curiosity.

Curiosity opens the world and builds bonds of shared (even if vicarious) experience. The News keeps telling me that the world is filled with fear and violence, hate and distrust. But I’ve indulged my own curiosity, my own need to know, and I believe the world is filled with people wanting to reach out and experience other lives. We want to connect, and books are part of making that happen.

I’m proud to be an author.

Announcing a Short Story Trio in 2015


This is one of the secret projects I’ve been dying to share. I have three short stories coming out with Escape Publishing in early 2015.

From the tropical heat of the Great Barrier Reef, through the glamour and danger of Sydney, to the all-action, high drama of Tasmania’s Antarctic specialists, these are romances to make you laugh, sigh and fall in love — these heroes are something special.

I’ve mocked up some “coming soon” covers to go with the draft blurbs. These stories are amazing — no that’s not just fond author delusion. In under 15,000 words they are mini-novels: full stories, lots of “chemistry” ;) and I absolutely loved writing them.

2ndchanceSecond Chance Island
early 2015

When you’ve betrayed a man, broken his trust and shamed yourself, is a second chance at loving him heaven or hell? Laura Robertson is working at a tropical resort on the Great Barrier Reef when her ex-lover Phil Cooper arrives on Topaz Island. She’s fighting for her self-respect, having just lost her job as a marine biologist. Now she has to fight for their happiness.




No RescueNo Rescue
early 2015

Recovering from a tragic hostage situation, Miri Blair is staying at a friend’s flat in Sydney. From her balcony she encounters Sergeant Tad Robertson of the Water Police who dares her to risk living again. Sydney is a wonderful city for a romance, but when Miri’s trauma affects their growing relationship, Tad questions whether she has the strength to handle him and his dangerous job.




early 2015

Dr Kiara Holland and Selwyn Powell’s first encounter is dramatic and their attraction immediate, but they have other commitments, separate lives, and they part. But Selwyn can’t forget her and when Kiara returns from scientific research in Antarctica, he kidnaps her – with her startled agreement. Perhaps a break from real life will give them a chance at happiness, or perhaps it will break their connection forever.


Contemporary Romance


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