Category Archives: The Month That Was…

The Month that was… October 2022

A quiet month catching up on the reading, writing and watching along with a little outdoor activity starting with a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Those of you in Melbourne will automatically think of the gardens close to the CBD which is fantastic.

What I discovered was that there is another. That’s right!

The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne is exquisite featuring heathlands, wetlands and woodlands, as well as an award winning display, Australian Garden. The red sand garden in the picture above is outstanding. It’s easy to walk around and the café on site has terrific food.

Then we went to the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens. No royal title for this one. But no less magnificent with its rolling hills of azaleas, magnolias and rhododendrons and breath-taking views, it is truly beautiful.

Both of these gardens would be highlight for any visitor, free to enter and both just an hour from the Melbourne CBD.


Binging on Bad Sisters, an Irish black comedy and Physical, a comedy drama, both productions were extraordinary viewing and highly recommended.

I also attended, Melbourne Theatre Company’s latest play by the extraordinarily talented Virginia Gay, Cyrano. It’s a modern day take on this romantic comedy, most enjoyable and so very clever. See it while you can.


My review of Bodies of Light is out. Watch for future reviews for the other two in the coming weeks.

Until next month…

The Month that was … September 2022


I was invited to speak at two events this month.

The first was at the Generation Women story telling night which is held each month in both Sydney and Melbourne. Women from several generations are invited to share their stories and this month’s theme was Secrets and Lies. Alongside some very illustrious and talented women I lined up to a sell out crowd to tell my secret. I have to confess to shaking a little in my boots and what was my secret? Well, you really had to be there. A very exciting experience.

My second talk was to a Probus group at the Docklands library. Probus, for those who don’t know, is a club for retirees who come together socially. Groups are scattered across Australia, far and wide. I spoke to a group of thirty about my writing journey, the many mistakes I made and how I was actually able to string a sentence or two together. Speaking for about forty minutes the time flew and it was a fun experience.


The highlight for the month was seeing Hamilton. I’m not really very knowledgeable about American leaders but this was not just an enlightening show of historic interest but an extremely entertaining show. The music was inspired and I wondered why rap had never been used before to convey the story. It was so very clever.

And yes, it’s still cold in Melbourne.


My reading this month has been varied so watch out again for my reviews.


My beta readers provided some very positive and encouraging feedback about my new novel, The Palace Hotel. I am in the final stages of editing and tweaking and hoping that it may be released to the world toward the end of 2023.

The Month that was… August 2022

The month opened with a full dose of Covid 19 which I had braggingly avoided for two and half years. Despite my four boosters and healthy lifestyle, it caught me just as it has many others. It wasn’t mild, it was downright nasty but I did recover and am now back on my game once more.


I managed to squeeze in a little trip to King Valley which is about three and half hours north of Melbourne nestled at the foot of the Alpine ranges. And yes, snow capped mountains were in sight. A gorgeous spot for wine, food and views.


I had more time for books. So a bit of covid reading got me through. Watch out for the reviews.

Until next month…

The Month that was … July 2022

There was a lot of in-the-field research done this month with a visit to Far North Queensland for my new novel, The Palace Hotel.

My trip started in Cairns and then from there we drove through the Atherton Tablelands, then back down to the coast to Mission Beach, through Townsville and onto Airlie Beach and the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

I explored cane fields, tropical rainforests and small historic towns, all the while imagining what it might have been like in 1948, for my protagonist, Ellen when she arrived in the fictitious cane field town of Sugar Creek looking for her cane-cutter, fiancé. I also wondered about my other character, young GP, Dr Dana Janssen and how she settled into this same town, fifty-two years later only to discover that nothing is as it seems. Surely, their paths cross?

Yes, it’s another dual time-line, dual character novel in the making.

A truly glorious trip of more than 700 kilometres with the added bonus of catching up with some friends at the end.It can’t be all work and no play and like the patrons of The Palace Hotel, one must enjoy a gin and tonic at the end of a long day. Scroll through the pics below for a little peak and watch out for more on the progress of my WIP, The Palace Hotel.


I thought I might have done a little more reading but travelling left me time for only one book and that was Still Life. Watch out for my review in August.

Until next month…

The Month that was… June 2022

The Melbourne winter seemed to hit colder and faster this year and we explored ways to stay warm without breaking the bank. Living in a mostly gas-powered home, we are trying to minimise our use and our carbon footprint which is very hard to do. We purchased an electric throw rug which, for $65 is worth every cent. The throw rug by Jason (as pictured above) heats up quickly and is ideal to drape over two people on the couch. It is machine washable, turns off by itself in case you forget, and feels very plush. No need to have the gas central heating on and it’s a fraction of our electricity bills. Jason is life-changing (in winter anyway), and I don’t know how we lived without it. Get one if you can.

Theatre: The Sound Inside

I was fortunate enough to attend the play, The Sound Inside by the Melbourne Theatre Company written by Adam Rapp.

Yale student, Christopher turns up uninvited to the office of his creative writing professor, Bella Baird. She is a published writer and he, an author wannabe. The two are lonely and mismatched but Christopher’s earnestness and persistence breaks down Bella’s barriers and the two strike an unexpected friendship until a life-changing dilemma is thrown into their connection.

The play was unexpectedly riveting despite the chunks of monologue by Bella who often spoke to the audience about her friend despite he being right there. This in itself was an interesting method employed by the playwright although somewhat taking the audience away from the story. That aside, the acting was superb, the story compelling and thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommended.

Author Talk

I attended a fabulous event hosted by one of my favourite authors, Lyn Yeowart who wrote The Silent Listener (see my earlier review). The event was held at Robinson’s Books in Glen Waverley. Lyn was in conversation with another Australian crime writer, Rae Cairns. The discussion was riveting and entertaining. Having just finished Rae’s debut novel, The Good Mother it was really interesting to hear how she came to write it by drawing on her years as a youth worker in Ireland in the mid-90’s during “The Troubles”. Watch out of my review in the next couple of weeks.


I should have increased this months reading but Crossroads is a meaty novel, equivalent to at least two short ones. That’s my excuse anyway. Watch out for my forthcoming reviews on these two during July.


My novel The Palace Hotel is due to come back shortly with lots of great feedback from my beta readers. So I’ll be polishing, enhancing and playing with my new novel in July.

Until next month…

The Month that was… May 2022

My post is a little late but then I’ve been travelling, writing and reading…

Firstly to travels…

We took a mini trip to Horsham exploring the wonders of the Wimmera in Western Victoria, a solid four hour drive from Melbourne.

Pink Lake

Then along the coast, past the Twelve Apostles, then across the border for the first time in more than two years ( because our borders were closed for so long) to beautiful Mt Gambier. It’s caves and blue lake are simply a wonder.


I had the privilege of being interviewed last month by best selling author, Kathryn Gauci who herself is an accomplished author of historical fiction.


This months reading was …


The Palace Hotel is now with a couple of beta readers who will pull it to bits, hopefully not too savagely.

Until next month…

The Month that was … April

A tough month particularly with the passing of our cat Ruggs. She was twenty-two years and five months old with a wonderful personality and an astounding intelligence. She featured in many an Instagram, Facebook or web post primarily because she edged her way into the photos. While she lost her hearing a few years ago she was relatively well until Good Friday when her kidneys failed. We miss her immensely.


I’ve consoled myself by immersing myself into reading and writing. This is what I’ve been reading this month. Reviews will follow in coming weeks.


I’m still tinkering with my new novel but it’s just about ready for beta readers.

And The Good Child is now in my local bookstore, Jeffrey’s Books in Malvern. 

So until next month, happy reading everyone…