Save One is available

Misty-summer-mountain-hills-landscape.-613864370_3000x1926 (edited-Pixlr)Save One is out 🙂 It is 32,230 words long and it sits in the Young Adult and Dystopian genres. It can also be a little bit of a Coming of Age story as well.

It follows one individual Sauska Morin as she is accepted into the cryptanalyst school to become a code breaker. Her country has been at war with the South for the last few decades and she is needed to help break the codes. There she makes a close friend who is not having as good a time as her. During this time her younger brother is sent to army boot camp with the intention of becoming an infantryman. This does not bode well with Sauska because her two older brothers have died while in the army and as she experiences her life she begins to see that maybe her country isn’t as great as she thinks it is.

Screenshot_2I began Save One around July of ’17. While it took two years to complete, I was not actively working on it all the time. In fact, I would do a few drafts in close succession and then nothing for months on end. The reason this story took a while to come out was because of; burnout, other stories taking my time and, the fact that it was not my most prized story at the time. I was constantly suffering ‘Shiney New Idea Syndrome’ during this time and it took a bit of a backburner until I finally decided to finish it.

Beautiful-African-Woman-174795229_2560x3835_preview4largeAnother reason why it took so long was that I was a bit hesitant in putting out the story was because I made the main character black and I am white. I made her a different race simply because I’ve always written white characters and it was a bit boring. And the idea of having more diverse characters was starting to become a thing that needs to happen. I’m worried that it’ll come off wrong, but I’m not writing a contemporary story from the black experience. That’s why my first book cover was the black and white one. I changed it to the one above because I didn’t want to seem like I was using race to my advantage. Also, I like colour more than black and white and there is a forest scene near the end of the book.


Sample reading of The Things We Do

I’ve released my next story, The Things We Do. Below are the prologue and first chapter from the book for you to read. The Things We Do is a science fiction novella that is set in a far off planet system that is in the throes of civil unrest. It revolves around a young woman Lone Honora, who’s been caught stealing money from her employer to cover her mother’s medical expenses. After being sent to jail, Lone must see out the next two years while her mother’s health declines and the encroaching civil war on a neighbouring planet ramps up.


The Texta Four, a small transport spaceship, rested on an open grassy field adjacent to a series of opulent houses. One house, whose wide back door steps descended gracefully down and seemingly melted into the ground, was just feet from the ship. These grand houses had so far been left untouched by the civil war, but at the current rate of hostilities, it may not survive the year.

A small child with wavy blonde hair, nearing four years, looked about her. Something wasn’t right, but she didn’t know what. She recognised the people around her, but they were acting differently. Nervous, afraid, silent. The woman who was holding her hand squeezed too hard. She looked up to Nanna Lou, her brown hair was streaked with just enough grey to show her age. The fifty something-year-old was staring attentively at the small ship.

Shielding her eyes from the setting sun, the child asked, ‘Where we going?’

Nanna Lou looked down. Her very freckled face was hard. Sharp cheekbones, square jaw, with prominent wrinkles on her forehead. She knelt and said,

‘We’re running away from the monsters Isla.’ Then after a pause said, ‘You’ll be safe with me.’ She stood back up and turned to a woman, younger by fifteen years.

‘Mama,’ Isla reached out with her free hand.

‘You have to go with Nanna Lou now. She’ll be looking after you until you get to your father.’ This woman had a round face and her features were soft from a lifetime of comfort.

‘So, you’re not coming then?’ Nanna Lou ask.

‘No, it’ll just take up a seat meant for another child.’ She placed her hand on her belly. Isla was going to have a baby brother in a few months. ‘Take good care of her.’

Nanna Lou nodded. A child in the crowd started crying. Isla looked around to see who it was, but the bodies of adults and other children blocked her. Then people started to move.

‘Time to go Isla,’ the child’s mother kissed her on the hand. ‘Be good and listen to Lou. She’ll protect you. I’ll be right behind you on the next ship.’

Isla began moving with the crowd, there was a sense of urgency. She looked back and saw that her mother was waving goodbye. Isla waved out of habit. Though she was too young to fully grasp what was going on, she knew that she was going up into space. Then she was inside the small ship, though it was quite large to her. People began to thin out as they made their way along the corridor and off into side rooms.

‘Sit here,’ Lou commanded as they came to a series of seats in a quieter part of the ship. Isla sat and waited with arms raised to be strapped in, but that didn’t happen. She watched as Lou looked around her and then took off her backpack, placing it on the seat beside her. Isla saw her yellow plush toy be taken out and she reached out to receive it.

‘This isn’t for you anymore.’ Lou’s tone was surprisingly harsh as she placed the toy under the chair. She then sat next to the girl. Lou was breathing heavily and as she gripped the hand rests, her veins bulged.

‘Don’t worry Nanna. Those monsters aren’t going to get us here. You said they can’t follow us in space.’

Nanna Lou coughed out a laugh. They jerked in their seats as the ship rose off the ground and after some turbulence, everything became calm. The girl watched Nanna Lou crawl at the armrest and the beads of sweat get bigger. Then she turned and said, ‘Come on time to go.’

Grabbing Isla’s hand and tugging her off her seat, she guided her along the brown wooden panelled corridor heading back towards the entrance. The conversations of the other people mixed into one another. Nanna Lou stopped at a door. The girl looked at the large red letters.

‘What do they say?’ she said looking up at Lou, who now had beads of sweat on her face. She didn’t say anything as she pulled down a lever. The door popped open and a voice over the radio sounded. ‘Emergency door four has been opened.’

‘Get inside,’ Nanna Lou said as she pushed Isla forward, almost knocking her over. The woman followed and closed the door behind them. There was banging behind her and Isla saw Lou looking at two angry men’s faces from the door window. Lou pulled down another lever and after a jolt turned away from them. ‘Buckle yourself in,’ she commanded.

Isla sat on a chair and found that she could do what Nanna Lou wanted. She looked up at saw that there were now more people. They looked so angry, so scary. They must be the monsters trying to hurt her, but Lou was going to save her. They continued to pound on the glass, but she couldn’t hear their thumps anymore. And their faces grew smaller, eventually, she could the ship was surrounded by black.

She turned to look at Lou who was now seated in the pilot’s chair. It looked like they were skirting along the edge of the planet with no destination in mind.

‘Where are we going?’ There was a period of silence before Lou turned around. ‘We’re running away from those monsters Isla.’ She stood up and handed the girl a small rectangular object that had a rounded end. ‘Press it and see what happens.’

The girl pressed a button on the end of it. ‘It isn’t doing anything.’

‘I guess it’s a dud,’ but Lou’s eyes wandered over to the small window. In the distance, a small blip of light ignited on the edge of the mesosphere layer. The Texta Four was no more. Then she returned her gaze to the front and moved the steering wheel left. They turned back towards the planet. The girl saw bare, grey mountains approaching.

Chapter One

The image on the screen was of a small spaceship rocketing down through some clouds, a thick trail of black smoke followed in its wake. It was the sole focus of the news report. The image of the ship was zoomed in on and once pixilation occurred it zoomed out. The image had been captured on a personal video camera from someone on the ground.

‘This is the only visual record we have the of Texta Four’s destruction.’ The female voiceover was serious. A banner at the bottom of the screen had the slow-moving phrases of Anniversary of the Vauban Disaster and Anniversary of the Texta Four Incident.

The image was replaced with a picturesque scene of a lush green leafy crop, but the centre held a burnt out and smouldering crater, the final resting place of the remains of the ship. ‘The only wreckage found was a few chunks that had fallen off prior to its crash. Presumed to be brought down by a suicide bomber the impact and subsequent incineration meant that very few remains of both the ship and its passengers were recovered.’ Another image, this time of the field in the present day saw that it was for the most part still active farmland. Flowers and makeshift shrines had been placed along the fence and there were people holding a remembrance ceremony.

The screen changed to a series of large, white, bulbous spaceships as they sat in space. It was an old stock image, used multiple times to show the strength of the military stationed in the Allicarus Region of space.

‘In the subsequent years following this terrorist attack, the Democratic Alliance’s retaliation, led by Captain Pan of the Vision, who has continuously received criticism at his response, especially considering his personal involvement in the situation. . . .’

Lone looked up from her metal food tray on the table and turned to face the screen. She knew this story intimately. . . and had no sympathy for the man that had been the root cause of all the problems in her life. She slumped in her chair, sliding her tray to the side and rested her head in her arms on the table.

The communal tea room was quiet, but even with her eyes closed, Lone could still see everything. The two-toned walls of dark green and grey-white, the white tiled floor that was occasionally broken up with a green one. The rectangular room was twelve meters by twenty-five and there were no windows except on the east side which gave a bland view of the opposing grey apartment building.

When she had first come to this planet she was in awe of how nice it was to simply see intact buildings. The people here were very lucky to have lockable doors, running water, electricity and most importantly no fear of the dark. Now she wondered how the residents in the buildings around them manage to keep their sanity every time they looked out their windows. Especially since it was her workplace, The Nova Vita Democratic Alliance Military Administrative Headquarters, that they constantly saw. Thankfully she and her family hadn’t been assigned to one of those apartment complexes upon their arrival.

A young man entered the cafeteria and saw Lone hunched over a table in the centre of the room. He had seen that she had been stressed from earlier. He could see that she still was and the closer he approached the sorrier he felt for her.

He sat down opposite her, she didn’t acknowledge his presence and still rested on the table looking at the news on the TV. A fork twirling in her hand. He stared at the part in her hairline. It was perplexing, was she losing hair from stress? He thought he could see more of her pale scalp. Bok knew that saying something about her appearance would prompt a response from her. ‘I didn’t know your hair was wavy.’

Lone twitched and touched her hair, still facing away from him.

‘Yeah, I’ve always straightened it because I don’t like it this way.’

‘Well, I like it natural. You should wear it more like that. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing against not having straightened hair in the regulations.’

She turned to him and he saw her sad face. Her brown eyes were streaked with red veins. Then painfully slow she sat back up and rubbed her face.

‘It’s not the end of the world,’ he said trying to cheer her up.

‘Surprise employee audit. I didn’t have time to prepare. I don’t know what to do now. They’re going to find out very soon.’

‘At least your mother is alive. You said to me at the beginning that if everything goes to hell, at least your mother won’t.’

Lone lowered her eyes in thought. ‘I did, but now it seems . . .’

Bok touched her arm, ‘It won’t be the end of the world. Only a few years maximum, right? Worth it if your mother lives another twenty.’

Jarringly Lone scratched her head. He saw the movement of the hairs and realised that black wasn’t Lone’s natural hair colour. Was it blonde? He knew of practically no one on this planet who had natural blonde hair. Why hadn’t she told him she dyed it? But he didn’t think it was the right time to comment on her looks anymore, especially with the way the conversation was going. ‘Do you have any idea on how to avoid it?’

‘I can send in a resignation letter on his behalf. Make it look like it wasn’t working out and they might let it go. I could rinse and repeat in a few months.’ People always got fired after employee audits. But in all her four almost five years here she had never been through a surprise one before. Everyone had always been given at least two weeks’ notice.

‘Did you know that I froze?’ Lone continued. ‘I just sat there in front of Kim and Mr. Perrin. All I could say that I wasn’t able to write up my report in time because I was helping look after Mum. I think they seemed to understand.’

Lone thought back only half an hour as she sat in front the old and greying advisors. Kim, who was known by her informal name, was Lone’s boss and head of Human Resources. ‘They mentioned that I was making mistakes in payslips. Three people had been in contact with them. I’m the reason why that memo that was sent out about everyone needing to check their payslips.’

Bok frowned. He had read that memo and it was odd to see it because it had been months since human resources had new staff.

‘They’re recommending that I should take some time off, a month or two.’ She pressed and rubbed her eyebrow, her light-coloured eyebrows.

‘I can help you while you’re not here.’

‘Thanks. I’ll go write up the letter and put it in. Keep an eye on things. I can’t afford to . . .’ Lone breathed deeply. Bok had never seen her so distressed before. It seemed like it had been months since he last saw her smile. Then he saw a small one.

‘Thank you.’

Draft 5 of Save One complete

Beautiful-African-Woman-174795229_2560x3835_preview4largeI was able to get Chris to have a look at Save One and give me his thoughts. He said it was good, but the ending was a little off. I know that writers shouldn’t give their work to people like spouses, friends or those they’re sleeping with (three strikes for Chris), but I know he won’t mislead me on his opinion of it.

But when I was going through it after I saw so many mistakes that he hadn’t commented on. He told me that the story read good and it makes me wonder how many mistakes people notice. Becuase when I read something I think I pick up on a lot of things, but that might be because I’ve got my editing glasses on.

You can see what I did to the text. I did a lot of line and individual word editing. I expanded some scenes, I didn’t take too much out of it. It is just under 33,000 words. Maybe this will be done by mid-year? I hope that’s the case.




What is the point of Jumpstart? (Tune Trilogy)

iStock-669387114_1Jumpstart is the prequel novelette to the yet to be completed novel Tune In. Honestly, I began the sequel before pausing and thinking that maybe I needed to introduce the main character Odine King and give her the appropriate backstory.

This is because I am trying to create a realistic character and she may not come off as that without this novelette. I’m also using this story as a means of garnering attention for the series. I’m also thinking of making this free so that it’ll entice more people to find me.

The whole point of this story to show Odine as she starts her journey into delving into the world of the paranormal. It is also to show that her talents are still not set in stone and she still has to learn how to control them. Please note, Odine’s powers are limited to communicating with the dead and sensing the nature of a person through touch.

I’ve also set this story in a fictional world of aliens and space exploration. In my head my storyline makes sense, but I’ve have had someone tell me that the two do not go together. Maybe, maybe not. I’ll see how it ends up.

This is my third attempt at creating a series. My first one was a Young adult trilogy from when I was 19 and the second is a dystopian science fiction from my early twenties. At the time I didn’t quite have the skill level as I do now to create something so large and all-encompassing. But I intend to go back to them one day. I have a lot of admiration to JK Rowling for her Harry Potter series. I think this time around will be the one 🙂

Feet or Fins: Read prologue for free

Beautiful-yet-unhuman-501951291_If you liked this first chapter then check out the rest on Smashwords and Amazon.


Unwittingly the town of Blue Bottle Bay held witness to the triennial migration of a family of Mira. A self-appointed term that describes the inhabitants of certain oceanic regions, like individuals in a country. To land dwellers they would simply be known as mermaids.

Because there are no records, it is not exactly known for how long or how many times the Mira have been migrating past this place. But their oral history indicates that it has been occurring since before the presence of land dwellers.

The initial attraction had been the bountiful coral reefs, followed by the rocky coastline and the isolation. Their migration routes regularly intersected with places like these. Whether they liked or not, Mira were not suited to a continuous life in open and deep waters. They were shallow water creatures that needed to live periods of their life on land. These migration stops were oases in a desolate world.

Before the arrival of land dwellers, Blue Bottle Bay was a paradise. Mira could come and go from the land without fear. But that is no more and there are too many chances of being seen. They can no longer afford to linger in the area. Their traditional lifestyle of vaulting from places living off the land and sea following the path created by their ancestors was becoming less viable.

To compensate they adjusted their habitation times at the other remaining places, ensuring that they kept to the rigid seasonal schedule. If they arrived too early or too late at certain places then they ran the risk of arriving during an infertile season. Furthermore, while Blue Bottle Bay was acceptable, it was not the best of places. It only had one cave for protection and even that was difficult to access. So now the Mira swim past the town out in the open sea.

*          *          *          *          *

It was during one of these migrations that Emaleah’s curiosity took her closer than she had ever been before. Myliah, her twin sister held her back.

I want to see them close up, Ema communicated in her and the rest of her family in their groups’ sign language. Their reluctance showed. She was still young, having only left the nursery island a hundred or so lunar cycles ago. They hadn’t anticipated that she would want to leave so soon.

But there comes a time for most Mira when they need to venture on land in search of a mate. But Myli didn’t want to accompany her sister and for the first time in their lives, they were going to be apart from each other.

You’re younger than most, she signed, trying to dissuade Ema.

But not the youngest.

I don’t want you to leave.

Sorry Myli, but I want to go ashore.

Ema’s words stung. Her sister had never wanted to leave her before. But she couldn’t stop her. If she wanted to chase after mates then there was no stopping her.

Once again Ema was given all the warnings that she had ever heard throughout her life.

Don’t let them see your tail.

You must have your feet.

You must never tell them about us.

Be prepared to kill.

Ema didn’t think of herself as stupid, or cruel. If a land dweller found out what you were then, for the protection her kind, they had to be killed. It was a brutal tradition, but it had worked since The First Mira. While she felt that there was something wrong with this blanket rule, she knew of its importance. Without it, they would not exist.

But it was obvious that there were times when this rule had not been carried out. Multiple land dweller societies had myths that involved sea creatures similar to them. It could not be a coincidence and it was a topic of contention for Mira everywhere. Sirens, a feared and respected faction of Mira society, held great enmity towards this idea. Ema swam towards the shore, facing upwards skirting along the seabed. She felt like she was about to burst; she was going to see them. A dark foreign shape glided overhead. Ema looked at it intently. Land dweller legs and feet dangled down from it. This is it.

When her head broke through the water she saw a young man on a surfboard swimming away from her, heading towards the incoming waves. Ema watched him stand up on his surfboard and then ride the wave.

It’s a surfer, she thought, male land dwellers that ride waves and water. Her family had told her in particular about these ones. When she was just a child her grandmothers had made her and Myli giggle at what they said. ‘They’re good for breeding. They strong sires for your children. If you ever come across a great water rider try not to let him get away.’

Ema wondered if her family could handle another child. She was old enough to produce one. But migrations were time and energy consuming, and there were fewer and fewer places for them to reside in. And she had to time it right too; it was dangerous to give birth in open water.

Ema saw that the now resting surfer was drifting away from her. She swam towards him and perched herself on the board. She sank it further into the water. The young man turned around looking confused.

‘Hi,’ said Ema.

The young man looked to be about seventeen or eighteen. Ema stared at his body; all the muscles were in all the right places. He had an average looking face and his brownish hair was bleached by the sun. Ema smiled. His hazel eyes were wide; he then looked towards the shore.

‘You swam all the way out here?’ he asked disbelievingly.

‘What other way could I get here,’ Ema replied coyly.

The land dweller stared at Ema again.

‘Are you naked?’ he asked with even more disbelief. He could not see her wearing a bikini top. Not even one of those strapless ones. ‘What need do I have of clothes, they only hinder me.’

His mouth was agape; he couldn’t believe what he was seeing or hearing. Ema saw this as a good sign; it meant that she had his attention.

‘I was watching you on the waves. You’re pretty good. I’d like to get to know you more.’

The young man was still speechless. He couldn’t believe what was before him. And he had never come across a girl so forward before.

‘My name’s Emaleah, but Ema for short, what’s yours?’ she asked him.

‘Uhhhh Darryl,’ he replied.

‘Would you like to get to know me?’

‘Yeah,’ Darryl said before he could stop himself.

‘Well, meet me at that lagoon tomorrow at noon, I’ll be waiting for you.’ Ema said before disappearing underwater.

Darryl couldn’t believe what he just saw. This girl was out of this world. She wasn’t too bad looking either. Though her chest looked almost non-existent. She looked like she was about his age as well. Her face was mature yet youthful. From his brief encounter, Ema looked like that she might be a bit on the short side. Also, he didn’t like boy hair on women, but he wasn’t about to complain. She was the first girl to ever be so forward with him. Well apart from Robyn, but she had that aggressive streak that worried him. Why couldn’t other girls be more like this one?

Save One book cover

I went and finally created the cover image for Save One. I had this particular image in the back of my head for such a long time now. I experimented with other images, but my mind kept going back to this one. I really think that it’s a decent representation of my story.

The main character is a black teenager and given that the story is a dystopian set in a military state, I didn’t really find any images that embodied that environment. So naturally, I went and found something that I think represents the main character. And since I know almost nothing about image manipulation I kept it simple 🙂


20 Days of blog posts: Day 4,5,6

Started a new thing only to ditch it after three days. I went off to Melbourne for my husband’s 31st and while there did no writing. I also found out I can’t remember my blog password as I tried to log on form my phone. But at least I can automatically log on from my laptop.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this novella I have written. It’s 30,000 words and I made the main character black. She’s black because I’ve never written a protagonist that is another race before. I figured why not? If I make her like all my other characters what’s the issue?

But when I read articles about the issue I saw that there were a lot of opinions about it. Some people say that white people shouldn’t write about black people because they can’t do them justice, while others say that there is not enough diversity in literature. The fact that I’m writing this seems like some kind of justification for my choices.

Why would I write about a character that is a different race to me? The biggest factor would be because I haven’t before. I’ve only ever written white protagonists, and the reason why is because white characters are most familiar to me as that is what I know. I decided to mix it up because I just wanted to try something different.

I was worried that I might not be able to do her justice as a character in the story, but then I could do that with white characters. I was worried that she wouldn’t be as good as my other characters. But I realized that I can only write her the way I write my other characters.

It helps a lot that the story isn’t set in present day but in undisclosed future/world where she lives in an isolated military country. I am able to present the world as one where race isn’t as important as the mental state. Becuase, lets be honest, I only know what it’s like to be myself. I hope that people who read the story will view her the same as they would any other character.


Jumpstart Update

iStock-669387114_1I’ve finally gotten around to finishing the end of Jumpstart. For months I’ve been distracted with other stories or have been not writing at all. When I opened the word document I saw that I had last saved it back in August, which to me seems longer than it actually is.

For some reason, it’s been torture to get back to editing this thing and I do not know why. I like the novelette a lot and I’ve already got some ideas for the next story too. But I seem to be clouded editorially.

Futurewise I think this story might be a few more drafts away from beta readers and publication. I’m thinking of having this story listed as only $0.99 because it is only around 22,000 words and the small intro price will create an audience for the next book. Tell me what you think of the blurb for this story in the comments below. Thanks.