Bali Retreat

My next book sees Woods and Amber take a romantic holiday to beautiful Bali. It starts well but a chance encounter has them drawn into the Bali’s seedy underworld. Will Woods escape with his life? Can Amber reach him in time?

Due to be released in September 2020, I am just in the process of finalizing final edits now, then it will sent off to be formatted, proofread and published. The trouble I am having is that it is spring here in West Australia and the days are so pretty with wild flowers and birdsong that it is hard to stay inside, but I am doing my best and getting a lot done on our colder cosy nights.

Our girl Annie, enjoying a rest in the garden bed while we re-fill the pond.

Allison – Swan River

Hazel FB2

Editors are wonderful at helping a writer shape their story into its pre-determined genre. Allison is a fast paced Sexy, Romantic/Suspense novel, to achieve that a lot of back story had to be ruthlessly stripped from its pages. It makes for a swifter read, and the story runs along as it was intended to do.

I am not quite prepared to ‘kill my darlings’ completely, I would like to share them here in the coming weeks. To help you get an overall picture of Allison and her family.

This is a tale of Allison as a child with her parents, in the original version of Allison she tells this to Mike Harkins, the fatherly security officer at Perth Airport.

When I was four, we went on the river.  It was just getting dark. A bright rainbow coloured sunset filled the sky.  Dad took the tinnie past Kings Park so I could see the glittering trees lit up to sparkle along with the night stars.  Mum sang Proud Mary as he steered and knocked back a couple of Cold Emu Exports from the eskie kept between his seat and ours at the front of the boat.  Dad stopped the boat at what he said was a good spot and we turned in our seats to watch him. Dad took a long handled net and dragged it along the bottom of the shallow water.  The dark Swan River reflected the night stars.

‘Are you catching the star’s daddy?’ I asked him.

‘Yes Ally,’ he said. ‘Do you know that I promised I would make your mother one,’ he replied, smiling.  ‘Didn’t I Emily. I will make you a star, change your ways from being a bar singer, anyone can be a bar singer.  Can’t they? Anyone.’

He pulled a blue swimmer from the water and dropped it in the bucket next to the eskie, I watched as it thrashed around afraid.

‘Daddy put it back in the water. We scare it!’ I cried.

‘It should be scared, it’s your mother’s dinner, and your dinner is coming next,’ he said.

Sharp talons clipped as the blue crustacean tried to claw its way back into the safety of the river.  For a moment it looked as if it had surrendered to its fate, but when another was plonked on top it resumed fighting to save its life again.

I stood up in the boat as dad was lowering the net to dredge for more crabs, Mum had tried to grab me, but I pulled free and lost my balance.  Gripping onto the bucket, I went overboard.  The crabs fell into the water. They gnawed and clipped their way up and over my arms and onto freedom as I sunk to the bottom of the river.

The stinging from the nips stopped.  Noise stopped. I could no longer hear mum screaming my name.  Darkness above and below me.  Over in the distance I see the light from Dad’s dolphin torch and felt the nip of a swimmer on my left middle toe, it should have hurt more.  I swallow water.  It is so quiet.  There is no one there to tell me to fight, to kick my legs and flair my arms.  It is before I had swimming lessons at the YMCA, it is before I knew that drowning is for life.  I watch on curiously. Water filled my ears, my nose, and mouth. Water replaced all the air that once filled my gaps. Blackness.

Mum brought me back into this world coughing and spewing, my throat hurt from the wakening.  This is the last memory I have of mum and dad together.

Mum didn’t really talk about him much after that.  She made it good, for the two of us. She sang, even had her own cabaret show for a while.  She sang like Judy Garland.  She was a star.

I was twelve when she got sick, she tried chemo.  She was mostly bedridden for a few years.  I started busking in Fremantle and picking up the odd gigs, weddings, and churches mainly.  Mum taught me how to sing, how to look after myself.   She even tried to find my dad so I wouldn’t be alone and have to go into care.  I know that she hung on as long as she could.
Thanks for  reading!



Cheats…. A burrow in the Rabbit Hole

I have been down the rabbit hole for days,  Cheats is distracting me, from my work on Allison.  To be very honest this was one of the stories that I wanted to write during  NaNoWriMo this year, but Delilah won out. More on her to come during editing later next year.

This book Cheats will not sleep so I have made a deal with myself, to put some other projects aside and work on Cheats after I have gone nuts and had enough of the daily grind of Allison edits.

These stories are about so much more than a collection of cheating spouses.  As I see it there are many more ways to be unfaithful in a relationship.  A friend reminded me of a story about a girl she knew that essentially put her life on hold for the dreams of her husband.  Of course her husband knew, but he took the gifts she gave him because he could.

We often don’t realise the effect this has.  She was a loving partner, and willingly surrendered herself and her direction in life for what she thought was the good of the relationship.  It was not.  She became a resentful passionless doormat.  He could of fixed things, he could of stopped taking.  She could of been truthful and stood up for herself and perhaps after some jumping up and down he would have been okay about it.  Instead, she cheated herself, and him.  Her kindness and willingness to surrender herself suffocated their relationship.

My dear friend is a big Keith Urban fan, and knows how songs inspire me.  She told me that this song reminds her of the couple she knew.  Keith  blames the man, (himself) for destroying a beautiful relationship through selfishness, for always taking and not taking care of her.

Who really it to blame? We teach people how to treat us. She taught him that her needs didn’t matter and he was not strong enough to push past her faux objections to treat her the same. Stupid boy wasn’t mean or abusive, he was just selfish, weak and immature.

Nothing better when exploring heartache that some good old country music…

Cheating Quotes… Love & Heart

There are a multitude of ways to cheat, money, diet, work, health and heart..

Here I have collected twenty one powerful quotes concerning love and relationships.  It has already proven to be a powerful topic, so much hurt and pain created by simple acts that to my mind roll up into number one because someone only cheats on you when they forget about you.


  2. “If you succeed in cheating someone, don’t think that the person is a fool.  Realize that the person trusted you much more than you deserved.”
  3. “If you are in a relationship, flirting is cheating”
  4. Love doesn’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and crewing with people’s feelings and emotions hurt” ~unknown.
  5. “If you’re in a relationship then focus on your relationship, not everything else outside of it”
  6. “A real man will cut off any female that threatens his relationship with his woman”
  7. “Cheating isn’t a mistake, it’s a choice”
  8. “I will remember and recover. Not forgive and forget”
  9. “Never cheat on someone who showed you what love means because only when its too late that you’ll realise you have lost something you will never ever have again” facebook/LQ.official
  10. “Sleeping alone is better than sharing your bed with someone who shares their bed and their desires with someone else when you are not around” ~ unknown
  11. “You didn’t love her.  You just didn’t want to be alone.  Or maybe, maybe she was just good for your ego. Or, or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life, but you didn’t love her. Because you don’t destroy the people you love.  ~Grey’s Anatomy
  12. “Nothing hurts more than being disappointed by the one person who you thought would never hurt you.” ~unknown
  13. “Distance is not a reason for infidelity or cheating in a relationship; patience and self-control is among what makes us human.” Evans Macharia
  14. “Flirting is cheating because it’s breaking a boundary within a committed relationship. In a committed relationship we agree to give certain parts of ourselves to our partner.  When we are flirting, we are giving sexual interest and attention that only our partner should get – we are giving it to somebody else”
  15. “You will never know how strong your heart is until you learn to forgive the one who broke it” ~unknown
  16. If you are in a relationship and you are just talking to someone else behind your partner’s back in a flirting way.. then don’t you think for one second that’s not cheating, because it definitely is! ~unknown
  17. “A cheaters punishment is to live a life of mistrust because they live in  a constant fear that the person they cheated with will also cheat on them; some call it poetic justice.  But I call it KARMA.”
  18. “I could never cheat on anyone.  It’s the type of mistake and wrong doing I couldn’t live with.  Knowing that you destroyed someone’s trust is bad, but destroying someone’s perspective on love is far too worse” Amino Auditore
  19. “I realised how much I don’t want you, when I saw how easy it was for anyone to have you” Herthoughts36
  20. “You didn’t just cheat on me; you cheated on us.  You didn’t just break my heart; you broke our future.” Steve Maraboli
  21.  “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option” Mark Twain



More Inspiration for Cheats

I am often inspired in my writing by music and the heartache it can remind us of.  This is a very old song by Hank Williams called “Your Cheating Heart”.  I know this song by heart.  Every Christmas, my dad would have a few too many beers and belt this out with such feeling that as a young girl I felt on the verge for tears.  As an adult I learnt that it was my father that had a cheating heart.

So many things skip past us in childhood.  It is only in hindsight that we see the truth hidden in so many situations.  This is true in our adult lives too.  What do we glimpse over, reject or disbelieve for the sake of peace and the continuation of a friendship, a relationship or a marriage.  What do we endure in our silence for the truth not to rock the boat?

So many questions are being stirred in this melting pot of misery and deceit  as I work to develop my cast of short story characters.

I hope you enjoy this song, comment below if it pulls a heart string or two.


Fremantle – traveling for Allison

A trip around Fremantle in edit season, was the perfect remedy to a day indoors.  Thankfully the weather has cooled and being outside has become temporarily tolerably again.  We have been bombarded here with forty degree days, and so cooped up inside during the productive hours of the day.

Here are some pictures that I took around Fremantle Markets. I really enjoyed the smells, colours and sights of Fremantle. The markets themselves suffer terribly at the hands of our fire lighting villain Scott.  To be honest I felt a pang of guilt at the destruction the fire caused (in the book only) but today I was reassured that all is well in this very magical pocket of West Australia.

CHEATS – A Short Story Collection.

My next work in progress has been inspired by the character Karen, from Love Actually.  Karen played by Emma Thompson discovers a necklace in her husbands pocket.  It came as a surprise to her when instead of giving her the necklace for Christmas she received a Joni Mitchell CD. The necklace being a gift for his assistant.

“Cheating causes cracks.”

“Not all cracks can be refilled.”

At the time of the discovery, the family is on their way to their children’s Christmas concert.  She has to hold it together. When she does confront him, Karen is dignified and manages to make her message brief and very clear. Watch below.

At the end of the movie we see Karen and the Kids collecting Harry from the airport, saying ‘welcome back.’  Its not a warm welcome home but you have the sense that he will in time be forgiven.

I have spent some time exploring and reflecting on heartache.  Specifically  the damage caused by those that we love.  I am looking at  both inadvertent and deliberate actions of cheating.  From ways that are quite subtle and chip at the edges of a relationship to the acts that will cause a relationship to end.

“All relationships have consequence.”

 “All relationships cost us a piece of our heart.”

This collection of short fiction stories will explore many ways a cheat can break a heart.  Due for release 2021.

My working tittle and cover is below.


Allison Book Cover

Let me present my working book cover,  this could change before I release the book in December 2019.  It is Easter Sunday my husband is climbing a mountain in New Zealand and I am procrastinating, looking for inspiration,  no make that motivation to get back to editing!  I have finished my work for the Karate Club for term one with a newsletter created on Canva (awesome program for so many things) so I figure what the hell, create a temporary book cover.  I am almost ready to send my manuscript back to Office-works to be reprinted and binded for the fourth time, it will be nice to have a image on the front.

This image of girl in the woods reminds me of the chapter where Allison is trapped by Scott in the reforested area just outside of Albany in West Australia.  I feel a road trip coming on soon so I can share photos and get the feel of  a place I have not visited for many years.  It is not a nice scene in the book,  I had deep concerns for Allison when I wrote it. I had to let the scene unfold between Scott and Allison, without interfering.

I know it sounds odd, but the writing part is easy as long as I do not try to control my characters and just listen and type.  A little bit of madness is necessary to write fiction.

This end of the process is a struggle, the editing requires so much concentration, it is tiring and it is necessary because I do want to produce the best work possible with my limited budget.  A budget means I have to ensure that I hand my best work into my editor and that I am left with as few re-writes as possible.  Editors are valuable, necessary and worth every dollar spent but I have to ensure that I spend each dollar wisely. I am going to make another coffee and back to work!!