Posted in Happiness, Publishing, Year of Gratitude

Christmas Eve is the 358th day of the year

With Christmas Eve being the 358th day of the year I have 58 days of gratitude to make up for in my 365 days of gratitude. That’s lots of gratitude in a two month period.

Firstly, today I completed my last draft of Kendwa’s Secret and the cover (though there’s always time for a few more tweaks). My sister will be my first reader. I can’t wait for her response. So (drum roll) ta da!

Cover reveal:

Kendwas Secret cover lion front

I hope you like the cover as much as I do (some touch ups and etching to be completed).

Here’s the blurb:

Crocodile wrangler and wildlife ranger Kendwa Ely’s troubles didn’t begin when he buried his parent; they started long before that.

In Africa he is seven-years old when the unthinkable happens and he must stay silent. The years don’t dim the secret. In a constant effort to forget it, he travels the world, wrangling crocodiles in Australia’s Northern Territory, roping live alligators out of rich people’s pools in Florida, fighting for eco-tourism and bedding a constant stream of women.

That is until he meets Sharli Ahu.

Exquisite as a Hindu princess, Sharli has values, humility and beliefs. A strong, resourceful woman, she doesn’t need a man like Kendwa. She’d rather be caring for Borneo’s orangutans.

But Kendwa gets under Sharli’s skin. Even when he stuffs up there’s something sincere, strong and kind about him. Though, she has more important things in life than lusting after a wild guy like Kendwa.

In the jungles of Borneo, a venomous snake strikes and Sharli may be the only one who can save him.

Can their love grow, or will the shadow of his secret always be looming? Is it the catalyst for his biggest betrayal yet, or can he save the people he loves most?

Can true love survive the secrets people keep?

If production goes to plan Kendwa’s Secret will be out by June. Date to be announced. If you’re interested in a copy on release please email me through my Contact page. It is the prequel to The Zanzibar Moon. Make sure you get a copy of both.

58 Days of Gratitude

I ticked off two moments of gratitude with the manuscript and cover for Kendwa’s Secret, completed, but what about the other 57 Days?

Here goes. I’m grateful for:

  1. Being healthy
  2. Happiness
  3. Love and support from my husband
  4. My family
  5. My dog panting beside me (she’s terrified of the whipper snipper)
  6. Sunshine and summer showers
  7. Butterflies in my garden
  8. Bird sounds
  9. Wonderful clients
  10. Interesting stories
  11. Backstories
  12. Collaboration
  13. A writing mentor
  14. A new computer
  15. Purchasing Adobe Creative Cloud (so many wonderful artistic programs)
  16. Books, books and books
  17. Writing time
  18. Clean sheets
  19. Wet grass
  20. Housework done
  21. Soft rock music, like Matchbox Twenty or One Republic
  22. Full moons
  23. My grandson’s first birthday
  24. My granddaughter’s special hugs
  25. My children accomplishing their goals (or planning to)
  26. My boss selling her business while the planets aligned (everything worked out perfectly for both of us)
  27. Being offered more work
  28. Working from home as a writer
  29. Reading my stories in other books
  30. Living inside my head (there’s a lot going on there)
  31. Creating a new exciting fictional world
  32. Falling in love with my characters
  33. Meeting new people who will change me
  34. Finding inner joy
  35. Appreciating my Mum
  36. Walking barefoot in the sand
  37. Feeling seawater on my skin
  38. Christmas parties
  39. Catch-ups with other writers
  40. Buying Christmas gifts
  41. Avoiding shopping centres
  42. Receiving lovely gifts
  43. Cold beer
  44. Seafood
  45. Summer
  46. Rainforests
  47. Bush noises
  48. Sunrises
  49. Sunsets
  50. Friends
  51. Shared smiles
  52. Warm hugs
  53. Writing journals
  54. My office
  55. A reliable car
  56. A neck massage
  57. Love

With so few days left in the year I know I’ll still find more gratitude. Leave a comment and tell me the one thing that made you feel grateful today? Perhaps it’s was as simple as finding a car park in the crazy Christmas shopping frenzy.

Pair of flip flop sandals, sunglasses, Santa hat and camera.

And of course have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year.




Posted in Family life, Health and fitness, Other stuff, Women's issues

Take a moment over Christmas

Hasn’t this year flown? I can barely believe it’s Christmas. It does seem the older we get the quicker our life flies by. It certainly makes me realise that we must slow down and enjoy each moment. We need to pay attention to the smaller things and be grateful for them. I know I can’t actually slow the clock down, but I am trying to be mindful of my life.

Merry Christmas Happy New Year (Graphic Stock)
Merry Christmas Happy New Year (Graphic Stock)

How do we do this? For me it’s getting up each morning and breathing in our fresh Australian air. I’m grateful for where I live. I have a nice roof over my head, my family are healthy, I’m fit, I have a job and so does each house member, we cope – now that’s a good start.

But it’s the little things too. I went out to the clothesline the other morning before work. Normally a mundane routine. This day a huge butterfly was fluttering around the garden beside the clothes line. It was like a monarch in oranges and blacks, with a 5cm wing span at least. It slowly fluttered around the fruit trees, coming in and out of the leaves giving me a view of its beautiful wings. I put the washing basket down and just watched it smiling and savoured the moment. I contemplated getting my camera but knew that I would just miss out if I did. Magical.

Similar to my backyard butterfly. How beautiful! (Graphic Stock)
Similar to my backyard butterfly. How beautiful! (Graphic Stock)

I’ve been reading some wonderful little quotes lately. Here’s some I remember that will help us to enjoy each instant and hopefully stop our time on this planet from flying by without meaning:

  • It’s okay. Some of the best days of your life haven’t happened yet. Just relax and keep going.
  • You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens. Mandy Hale
  • It’s okay to forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.
  • Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems. Look for someone who won’t let you face them alone.
  • Keep calm and eat healthy.
  • When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peach – Dalai Lama
  • May you always be filled with wonder and inner peace.
  • Exercise outside to benefit from our planet’s beauty while looking after your health.
  • Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.
  • You can only see if you are really looking.
  • Smile and you’ll feel happier and you’ll spread it, just like laughter is contagious.
  • Smell the roses – frangipani, jasmine, magnolia, camillia and other garden beauties.
  • Be kind.

And in light of what happened with the Sydney Siege here’s a great one:

  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King Jr.

Enjoy the festive season. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, stay safe and enjoy those special moments with family and friends.