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This post is a longer one than normal. Rather like a newsletter, if you like.

So pull up a chair, make a cuppa and grab that piece of chocolate cake.

Let’s go!

Passage’s launch approaches fast.

For those who like the whole pre-order thing, you can pre-order for Kindle from Amazon.

If however, you are an i-tunes or Kobo person, have no fear. You can purchase from those outlets on the exact same day that Passage will be released on Amazon.

The paperback version of Passage will be released a couple of days after that, and I’ll make sure I provide links online for anyone who prefers tree books not e-books.

Audio? Hopefully…

Perhaps at the end of the northern summer. The perfect thing to listen to on a cool afternoon in front of a log fire with a hot chocolate, as you watch the leaves fall outside…

It’s a curious feeling as a book approaches its release. One knows that the infant has grown up and will be making its own way.

So what next?

As mentioned in other posts, a collaboration with high profile writer Simon Turney, on a novel based on nineteenth century convict transportation. After Jun 28th, it will be a question of me having head down and tail up.

But what else has been going on in the writer’s life? Well, mostly good times…

Last week we picked the last of the apples and quinces. The apples will be used for apple paste, apple pies and cakes, stewed apples, savoury cheese, walnut, apple and thyme tarts – lots of things for the freezer. The quinces will go to a friend who is the best quince paste maker in Tassie!

In the veggie garden, we still have the last of the parsnips and carrots to harvest for delicious and hearty River Cottage soups. The new season’s garlic is well above the soil and the olive tree is loaded, but I have no idea what to do with the olives.

I cook quite a bit. Soups, pies, cakes and slices. I’ve made a big fruitcake ready for the shearers and some banana and chocolate muffins. Tomorrow I’m making a carrot and ginger soup to have with cheese and olive focaccia.

Winter approaches (Gosh, if I hear one more person say ‘Winter is coming’, I think I’ll throw a tanty!).

Although in our neck of the woods, southeast Tasmania, we are beyond dry and it’s fair to say that on the farm, we’re in the grip of drought. Water’s having to be delivered to the domestic tanks because of the lack of rain to fill them. We’re shearing in the next few days and fortunately have irrigated oats onto which we can turn our pregnant flock. But with the turn to freezing winter, we plan to shed the ewes until the weather takes a turn for the best.

We have a wonderful old stone barn and plenty of stored feed, so hopefully the sheep will appreciate the extra protection. Husband and self spent today bringing the flock in and placing them under cover so they stay dry.

I cleaned out the shearing shed, set up the eating space, cleaned out the shed-fridge and the microwave and helped husband set up the wool press,


 We lined the bins…

and made sure all was ready for a 7.30AM start tomorrow morning.

(Ironically, I’m driving the UTV that followed on from the ATV that nearly killed my husband last year. That accident inspired Alex’s accident in Passage)


I haven’t worn winter clothes for almost nine months because summer was so long and hot and autumn has been incredibly  dry and very mild.

But ready for the cold, I purchased a merino wool/cashmere cardy. (I like cardigans better than sweaters), a scarf and a pair of shoes. For the rest and because they hardly ever get wear, I’ll regenerate the old woollies and jeans in the bottom drawer. No point in shopping to excess in this worrying time of climate change.


In preparation for a busy oncoming week, OH and I escaped for a few days to a part of Tassie we’ve not been to before.

We stayed in a delightful house that hung over the beach and with a heavy swell, waves roared all day and night. It was music to my ears!

Being winter, there was no one else around – just the kind of holiday we like. It was five hours drive from home but we travelled through the highlands, and wound down through some of the lushest farmland we’ve seen for some time. It made coming back to the dust and dry of southeast Tassie very hard.


But yesterday was the toughest day.

We accompanied our daughter to farewell our grand-dog of some sixteen years.

Sophie has been as loved and as much a part of our lives as any grandchild and has been buddy to four of our dogs (Spot the Wonder Dog, Taggie and Milo and of course, little Dog).

She’s been a perfect companion and guard dog, a good dog around the yards, a great beach buddie – a true member of our family. We’ll miss her more than you can imagine, but nowhere near as much as our daughter will.

Vale, dearest Sophie.


So that’s this writer’s life in between words and more words.

I was prompted to think today what a good and fortunate life it is.

I crave nothing really – just happiness and health for those I love.

But back to books and writing. It’s a chosen profession, a fortunate one and one that I enjoy more than you can imagine.

This year, I’ll be starting on Book Twelve and releasing Book Eleven…

…Passage, for you all to read.

It doesn’t get any better…