Short Stories

the dreambound tree

The Dreambound Tree eBook

Memories define our sense of place.  Friends and family do too.

And sometimes, perhaps, a bit of magic

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By the time I was thirteen, I knew I was too old to be sleeping in Mum’s bed. But that didn’t stop me crawling in beside her on that two-inch thick fold-out mattress every second night when I woke slick with sweat from a nightmare.

‘Try to go back to sleep, Maddie,’ Mum’d coo and kiss my hair even though we both knew we’d lie there awake until the alarm chimed at three-thirty and it was time for her to get up for work.

 I never lived in a normal house. Well, I did—once. But I hadn’t since I was seven and we didn’t talk about it or actively remember anything of the life before we left. Since then it’s been caravans or share houses; granny flats in someone’s backyard; or a refurbished old shearer’s shed like the place where we lived now. Mum always told me to be grateful because it was the kindness of strangers and her hard work that kept me clothed and sheltered.

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Short Stories

the carpet cleaner

The Carpet Cleaner eBook (1)

Robert liked his job. Well, most of the time. He didn’t like going to uni student share houses to leech booze and dried vomit off every plush surface the day before a rental inspection; and he didn’t like going to Ms McTavish’s place because she had ten cats and let them pee on the carpet until it was sodden and the house smelt like piss long after he’d shampooed and shampooed it again. He also didn’t like nursing homes, because it was too hard seeing people not that much older than he with defeated expressions on their sunken faces, confined to beds, stuck full of tubes and left to stare at the empty visitors’ chairs in their room all day. No, he didn’t like that at all. As with anything, there were good clients and bad, and the one client Robert loved, more than anything, was Mrs Lavingston. 

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Book Reviews

the raven cycle

Never had I been so invested in a group of teenagers until I met Blue and her Raven Boys.

Ah, Maggie Stiefvater and The Raven Cycle.

Where do I begin without obscenely gushing all over the place? This series has raised the bar for YA fiction and given me a love for the genre which was previously only an occasional interest. Having annihilated all four books in the space of a month—a truly astounding feat for turtle-reader me—it’s safe to say The Raven Cycle shot straight to the top of my favourites and Stiefvater has well asserted herself as one of the premier authors of YA fiction.

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Short Stories

aunty mim’s lost & found

Aunty Mim's eBook

Miriam Sykes had been called many things and not all of them were kind. A witch, a gypsy. Hermit. Lunatic. Satan. But Miriam Sykes was just a woman—a woman who was very good at finding things.

Miriam lived a good twenty minute walk from Sturtville station. Trains didn’t stop there anymore. Well, not trains for moving people anyhow. There weren’t many people left to move in bum-fuck nowhere South Australia. That’s what my brother called Sturtville: bum-fuck nowhere. He wasn’t exactly wrong. Sturtville consisted of opal miners, a high school of about fifty kids, a Woolies, and one sad little servo that sold over-priced fuel. That was our town. Village. Hole-in-the-ground. We didn’t have a lot in Sturtville (more than one doctor, for example) but there was one thing we had that no other place in Australia did. And that was Miriam Sykes.

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Blog

the year that was & the year that will be

And so 2017 draws to a close. I for one can not be more relieved.

This year has been a tumultuous one indeed: I moved countries, got married, began a new day-job, bought my first car, and moved again (domestically this time); I said goodbye to my Grandmother, a second mother who raised me alongside my own; and lost two public figures (Chester Bennington and Kim Jonghyun), who have been a source of love, comfort and inspiration, to this terrible illness called depression, of which I also chronically suffer. It really has been all over the place–I have been all over the place. Personal rollercoaster aside, though, and my writing career(?) has been a pleasantly stable fixture. Let’s take a look.

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Book Reviews

the darkest part of the forest

Holly Black takes something so ordinary, so relatable to the modern adolescent, and juxtaposes it against the profoundly extraordinary.

darkestpart
Stunning cover art is just one of the many positives about this book.

After a dismal run of DNF and one-star reads, Holly Black‘s The Darkest Part of the Forest was a pure delight. I have to confess, ten years ago, I never would have picked up this book: I was strictly a high-fantasy or slice-of-life contemporary literature kind of girl. I had no interest in magical realism or the blurring of lines between our world and others. What a wonderful thing personal growth is!

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Short Stories

the cottage on peppercorn tree hill

Peppercorn Tree Hill

The cottage on Peppercorn Tree Hill was not a cottage: it was a Federation Bungalow with a bay window and Evelyn Millar loved it. From the moment Harold drove her up the dusty road and she saw red brick façade with cream latticework under the eaves, Evie knew they would be happy here. The front was shaded with a large peppercorn tree, for which the hill was named, with a swollen trunk and wide-spanning limbs. Evie jumped out of the car, blonde curls bouncing, and breathed in the fresh country air. A smile curled her lips as she beheld her future looking down at the town below.

Evie and Harold met in a hospital, though neither was a patient. Her mother Vilma had been volunteering at the 113th Australian General Hospital to care for the many repatriated soldiers wounded in the Pacific. Together with her younger sister, Margaret, Evie spent much of her time there, helping where she could, while their father fought in Papua New Guinea. While assisting the nurses on their rounds, Evie happened upon a fresh-faced, fair-haired doctor by the name of Harold Millar. In spite of horror piling up around her, Evie fell in love.

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