Sneak preview

Yesterday I wrote those wonderful words, “The end.”  Actually it should have been “The beginning,” because this is book one of an upcoming series.  A few trusted people have to work their magic before I push the publish button, but not long to wait.

Here is a sneak preview.


A bleak December day, a slippery highway, and Shona McGuire’s ordinary life would never to be the same.

Before the accident Shona’s life was not exactly as she would have planned it. In fact, it was nothing like the dreams that filled her head while she struggled with the trials and tribulations of adolescent hood.

For Shona McGuire, her early memories always return to the beach. To the tumble down bach her family have owned since she was a child, covered in sticky candy. As far as she can remember, it has always been tumbled down, with threadbare carpets and frayed curtains. A special place where sand carried in by bare feet, and their old dog’s tooth marks on the corner of the sagging couch, go unnoticed. The lawn is a tapestry of course white sand and sparse patches of Kikuyu, the only grass resilient enough to survive the salt laden air that blows off the waves, and coats the distorted glass windows in a thin, greasy film.

The handful of tiny wooden homes sit empty for most of the year. But when the holidays arrive, they come alive with the sound of laughter, and the smell of sausages, pipi fritters and crayfish cooking on the barbeque.

Her mind takes her back to Sea Dog Takeaways, and the old couple wrapping greasy fish and chips in unsold newsprint. Of her father sipping cold beer, while her mother tossed green salad, and baked fresh loaves of crusty bread.

It takes her back to a time of innocence. Memories of a handsome boy named John Myer, of two free spirits galloping ponies down the windswept beach, of diving in the crystal clear waters of the harbour, and gathering shellfish from the shallows.

Now only the bach remains unchanged, a tumble down wooden structure, that holds the family’s memories etched deep within its walls.

They say you can never go back. That the things you have left behind are best not revisited. But they never told her to go back would be the biggest mistake of her life. It all started on a slippery highway on December 23rd.

Charlie Robot. By Benedict Martin

Another book for you to consider.  A great read and well written.  Even if it is out of your normal it may be worth considering.

I was not sure what to expect when I started Charlie Robot by author Benedict Martin.  It was not my normal genre but I have just finished it and am so happy I took the plunge and explored a great read that was out of my “norm”.

This is a fantastic story, well written and crafted with professionalism along with a huge helping of imagination.

The story is easy to read, it flows and most of all it keeps you guessing until the end.   Charlie Robot is not predictable and there are twists and turns, characters to like and hate and the author’s style makes it easy to relate emotionally to each and every person (human or otherwise!)

I would highly recommend this book.  It would be an easy read for a wide cross section of people, is entertaining and even a little thought provoking. 

Perhaps in the future this story will no longer be considered fiction?

One of the books I have enjoyed reading and reviewed is currently on special.  This is a limited offer so download now if you intend to go on Jackie Parry’s nautical journey.

The Quilt, Unravelled is offered at a reduced price on kindle.  If you are wanting to download and have a full length read this weekend click on the link.

Have a great weekend wherever you are!


Have a great weekend from Auckland, New Zealand

Lifestyle or life sentence, continued!


It was a good idea, wasn’t it?

The reality of living the country dream hit quickly and it hit hard.  The previous owners had abandoned their marriage, and before the ink had dried on the sale and purchase agreement they had also abandoned the soon to be ours rural dream.

Settlement day was fast approaching.  As a surprize my loving partner brought forward the date, organized friends to join us for drinks and rung to proudly break the news to me.  His proud moment was shattered.  I sobbed on the end of the phone.  I was holding our beloved cat who had just suffered a seizure.  The vet was on the way.

We huddled in a sombre circle clutching chilled glasses of bubbles and remembering the pet that wouldn’t join us.  We stared bleakly at the gorse and ragwort that had been allowed to flourish while the previous owners got on with their new and separate lives.  We frowned at the herd of stinking goats that were soon to birth stinking kids.  They too had been abandoned by the previous owners. We looked at the family of possums that had taken over the rafters.  They glared from their perches, resenting our intrusion.  Oh no what have we done?

The next morning we celebrated with a large dose of cholesterol, salt, sugar and caffeine at a local café.  Purchasing our small slice of the good life was a great idea wasn’t it?  Land banking, children growing up in the country air and room to move without the intrusion of lawnmowers and a seething mass of humanity on our doorstep.

We returned home feeling positive, invigorated and then invaded.  While we had been enjoying  an unhealthy break for the sake of our sanity a burglar had enjoyed removing many small, easy to sell tools from our yet to be secured sheds.  Later that night my three year old son reassured me he was feeling fine through lips the colour of the pacific ocean.  The pollens and grasses of our new rural paradise had taken their toll.  Miserably we made the too familiar journey in to the emergency room of the hospital.

The Quilt, Unravelled

Available on Amazon

Welcome to the rural dream.  This was seventeen years ago.  Like our “real life” The Quilt, Unravelled is set in rural New Zealand.  Our farm is situated a short drive from Auckland City.  Twin Pines Station is situated in the central North Island.  Today is the final day for proceeds of sales to be donated to a friend fighting cancer.

My nose is out of a book

One of the unexpected bonuses of writing a novel has been the interesting people that have come in to my life.  Like minded people from different parts of the world.  Talented people with different interests and experiences.  But we have one thing in common.  We  like reading.  Through their contact I have unearthed many great books.   Books that may otherwise have gone unnoticed, buried forever under the monumental pile  available on Amazon.

Each one I read I will review and post my experiences to this blog.  Perhaps I can help you find your next best read?  Below is my review of Mark Fine’s “The Zebra Affaire.”  Go on hit the download button.  This one is well worth the effort!

Author, Mark Fine has neatly stitched together both a fictional romance and a factually  informative novel.  “The Zebra Affaire” will transport the reader  to a world of racial tension, tribal unease and prejudice.  It will allow the reader to easily visualise the beauty of the wild life,  and the landscape and lifestyle through the eyes of the author.

Through his sympathetic portrayal of the two main characters the reader is able to experience  a romantic, tragic and moving love story.  Their relationship also allows the reader to relate to and better understand the adversary and struggles of these troubled and volatile times.

“The Zebra Affaire” will appeal to two distinctly different readers and for achieving this I applaud the author.  On one level it will sweep the romantic away in a touching story of love against the odds.  On another level it will provide a thought provoking  journey to  those interested in South Africa and its history.

This is a captivating, well written novel.   It will move you to tears.  It will leave you thinking about the characters and their plight.   I would highly recommend this novel as  worthwhile  to a wide cross section of readers.

Latest review!

The latest review has made my day!  Thank you Trish Carroll.

The Title of Rochelle’s Book stood for me because I am a seamstress, generally I go for specific Authors. The Book was not difficult to get into,the opposite in fact, I could not put it down. Every facet of the Story was fascinating. Rochelle stitched together all the characters past and present seamlessly. For me to feel as if I was actually there is rare. Her wording created within me many emotions and for that I Salute Her. I have the utmost confidence in recommending ‘The Quilt:Unravelled’ t The Title of Rochelle’s Book stood for me because I am a seamstress, generally I go for specific Authors. The Book was not difficult to get into,the opposite in fact, I could not put it down. Every facet of the Story was fascinating. Rochelle stitched together all the characters past and present seamlessly. For me to feel as if I was actually there is rare. Her wording created within me many emotions and for that I Salute Her. I have the utmost confidence in recommending ‘The Quilt:Unravelled’ to All my Family and Friends. – review by Trish Carroll.

The Quilt, Unravelled

The Quilt, Unravelled

Latest 5 star review.

Latest review by Glen Barrera.  Five stars.  Thank you for taking the time to give feedback.

It was the title that intrigued me. I had heard of “story” patchwork quilts some years ago and liked the idea of a story that would unravel one. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, the novel captured me from the beginning and didn’t let go until the last sentence. The story is about four generations of the Clarke family – “a family hunted by tragedy and hardened by struggle” – and how the past affects the present. At the same time it’s also a novel about relationships, love and loss, and the turning points in life that can make the difference between heartbreak and happiness. Like any good book, it’s the characters, good and bad, that make the story come alive. And Carlton has gone above and beyond in this department. Her richly woven creations still stick in my mind; the true mark of a good writer. I appreciated this book, and give it a high recommendation.

The Quilt, Unravelled

Two days left to enter!

Don’t forget to enter if you would like a chance to win a copy of the “The Quilt, Unravelled.”

This is a full length novel set in rural New Zealand.  It takes the reader on a journey to the gem like islands of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.  It explores the dramatic High Country through the eyes of the troubled Clarke family. This story of hardship is warmed by a romance that could change their lives.

Goodreads rating 4.93.

“The Quilt, Unravelled” is also available on Kindle.

For the month of February all proceeds will help a friend battle bone cancer.

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High Country, New Zealand


Beautiful Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand.

Good coffee and burnt muffins


New Zealand Tui, native to New Zealand. Seen here in one of its favourite places the Kowhai tree.

As the title suggests my latest attempt at being awarded the title of domestic goddess has failed, and it has failed spectacularly.  But as we washed down blackened berries with strong caffeine this page has been steered in to a logical format.    Welcome to my new look blog.

I would like to share a few of the images that have been included in previous posts.  I hope you enjoy these glimpses of New Zealand through the eyes of some of my talented friends.

If you have been following my blog you will know a friend has recently been diagnosed with bone cancer.  I am happy to say that he is in good spirits and an auction was held yesterday.  It has raised considerable funds towards his treatment.  Great to see so many generous people  donating and bidding.  Mike is a wonderful man, and for another three weeks we will continue to donate proceeds from The Quilt, Unravelled to his on-going treatment..

If you would like a chance of winning a free copy of The Quilt, Unravelled please click on this link.  The competition is running for a further 10 days and is open to readers from all eligible countries.

If you would like to download a copy of The Quilt, Unravelled or purchase it as a paperback please click on this link.  All proceeds will help Mike Shaffer battle bone cancer.

The Quilt, Unravelled


Auckland City, New Zealand.


Waiheke Island, North Island, New Zealand. Home of The Quilt, Unravelled.

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The spectacular South Island, New Zealand. Photo Des Clegg.


Missed out on the last Giveaway?  Another copy of The Quilt, Unravelled is available.  Click on the link for a chance to win.  Open to all eligible countries

Tragedy brings them together.  The past drives them apart.  Their choices change the future.  An epic story of love against the odds.

For one month all proceeds from The Quilt, Unravelled (both Kindle and paperback) will help a wonderful man battle bone cancer.

The Quilt, Unravelled

The Quilt, Unravelled