Shadows of the Past reviewed

17 Dec 2014

Front Cover of Shadows of the Past by John Cosgrove

“This book should be part of the school curriculum” says one of the writers’ web review panel of Shadows of the Past, a collection of short stories and poems about days in country and city and 60 years of recollections by the author:

              • The Masonic Ball – tells of a ball that could be held in any country district.
              • Whether or Not – is the story of an ‘expert’ on the weather.
              • Making a Killing – is the story of a bloke who sells a property and is going to make a fortune in the city.
              • McCartney’s Run – tells of days when marriage of mixed denominations could cause problems.
              • Silence is Golden – covers our habit of using proverbs and what happens if we use them to excess.

This collection both moved and amused the review panel. Here’s what they think about Shadows of the Past:

“I once told a published author friend that great short stories and poems leave you wanting more. I felt this way about the majority of writing in “ Shadows of the Past”. The stories and poems were whimsical, nostalgic, touching, controversial, cheeky and thought provoking. I think this book should be part of the school curriculum or at he very least shared amongst Australians from all walks of life. Well done, Mr. Cosgrove.” Belinda Starkey

Shadows of the Past by John Cosgrove is a wonderful compilation of shorter and longer stories and poems set in the Australian outback. It’s a book that a visitor to Australia should read if they are only going to a capital city, and certainly, city folk where we have all possible luxuries. An outback dweller would often have a smile on her or his face, identifying with the stories and characters, the humour and the tragedy.

The book is very well written with excellent use of descriptive language and clarity of Australian idioms. The attention to detail is appreciated even if you are an Australian reader who is familiar with local jargon as there is no doubt as to the meaning of conversations in the isolated local vernacular. Language is heartfelt and stirs the emotions of the reader who is able to empathise and feel the sometimes desperate realities of living in the Australian bush.

It’s hard to isolate a particular favourite story or poem as they each have their own magic. Particularly touching was McCartney’s Run. After reading it I was incensed about narrow-mindedness that so often causes deaths.

This is a book you need to make time for and have it sitting on the coffee table. It’s too beautiful to rush through. You pick it up and read one of its pearls and digest the message you get. You’ll never tire of this book.

It’s possibly a book for a more mature reader. That’s not say, mature in age, but mature in thinking as it challenges how we look at the world.” Gloria Hamilten

“The phrase, ‘ “I’m buggered, just buggered.” he said’, says it all. Haven’t we all felt like that as we age. This is the second book of yours I’ve reviewed, John. I see where this book was written in 2009, where as “White Fella Dreaming” was written in 2011, and I can see a progression in your writing. With this one, John, you have captured a bloke’s world. My husband really appreciated your slant on life especially “The Cabless Tractor Driver.”! My favourite ones this time were the story, “Mum” and the poem, “The Best for Dad.” They both brought tears to my eyes, as they related to our own experiences in our lives. The emotions were captured and written down in a most poignant manner, painting a picture of the moment. Congratulations once again. Judith Flitcroft

John-Cosgrove-HeadshotAuthor, John Cosgrove (right) has been writing for about 15 years writing poetry first, then short stories. Inspiration has come from his father. John says,

“My father wrote poetry and told stories. When he died I started writing and I like to write of life the way I see it. My books are about Everyday life – funny and sad events that have happened – some are fiction – some are very true. I hope my stories cover incidents in the reader’s lives”

Once a farmer and cattleman, when not writing, John is developing a town block and helps his real estate son.

John’s other book, White Fella Dreamin is reviewed here.

Shadows of the Past is now available in the bookstore as a hard copy book.

 

Write Around Queensland anthologies now published

11 Dec 2014

After a year in the works, the two Write Around Queensland anthologies are now live as eBooks available from the writers’ web website:

1. In The Raw has the submissions as received from emerging writers around the state. It can be downloaded by pressing the Preview button here.

2. The Final Draft contains editing input from the Qld Society of Editors which writers may or may not have chosen to include in their final submission.It can be downloaded by pressing the Preview button here.

Reviews of the 48 edited short stories by our review panel can be read here.

We know through the writer feedback that having their work edited was a rewarding and productive process and have included some of their very nice words about this on pages 1-6 of The Final Draft.

 Many thanks to everyone involved in Write Around Qld with special mentions to:

•  Beloved and prolific Queensland author Nick Earls for his supportive words early in the piece

Arts Queensland for funding through their Projects and Programs Fund

Queensland Society Editors for their editing input, especially  Brian Clarke and Jacinda Wilson for doing a stellar job in co-ordinating their editors

• The very helpful team of Meg Vann, Aimee Lindorff and Sophie Overett from Qld Writers Centre for helping to spread the word to writers’ groups

• Our lovely reviewers who stepped up to lend their support to review every story, providing a staggering total of 206 reviews

• And lastly, but most importantly, the writers who were brave enough to have someone else read, edit and then review your work. You have now made the transition from writer to author – congratulations all!

 

Run out of writing steam?

09 Dec 2014

In an interview with Amanda Lohrey in The Writers Room series with Charlotte Wood, Amanda describes the ’11am switch’. Regardless of what is happening around her or how methodical or organised she is, she doesn’t feel the kick to write until that late in the morning.

I personally completely associated with the comment she shared from Elizabeth Jolley that ‘..if there is the slightest difficulty happening in the family I just can’t work.’  This would fully explain why my last surge of writing is always just before a deadline, and I can only seem to start at 8pm at night and finished a 7,000 word play in the early hours of the following morning! Yes, I am deadline driven, with no discipline and a very earnest growing jealously for the writing practices of authors like Ronald Butler.  He is the author of Blood Latitudes and Blood on the Reef keeps the process very simple.  ’Discipline is the key – just keep writing even when you don’t feel like it; the writing will come and begin to take on its own momentum.’

The idea of writing through the pain barrier is not unusual either.  Catherine Lilai has a particularly honest description into her writing, no less an ambitious project than a trilogy. ‘Five years of hair pulling, the onset of madness and a euphoria that I cannot describe.’  She was driven by an intensely internal creative drive and is genuinely too exhausted right now to focus on what happens next!

Console yourself that if you have run out of writing steam, for the process is not an exact science and there are as many variables as there are scenarios in a writers day.  The most important thing to remember is that whilst authors are happy to share their writing methodology, it is just that… theirs!

It is so important to understand the vagaries of your own writing, find what works and what doesn’t and let your own lifestyle, rituals and nuances dictate your writing process.  Laura O’Connell, author of Web of Lies believes says ‘My writing process has gone through many changes and has evolved into a method I trust. That’s a major milestone for my career. Now that I understand my writing life, when the doubt comes it’s easier to deal with.’

A dose of honestly, followed by an assessment of reality… and you will find your own tipping point.  Only then can you work your way around that sinking feeling of not having the energy or the creativity to be writing; or trick yourself into a surge of creativity

And for me?  I have to post this NOW to meet my deadline!

x

Emma

 

Fantasy A King, a Queen and a Magician reviewed

04 Dec 2014

A King A Queen by David Cox CoverA bad mistake that took place some seven years ago, Gawain the magician is continually plagued by knowing that the king’s son is in fact his own, and now that the king knows, he is forced to make a decision.

Here’s what the writers’ web reviewers thought about this fantasy short story:

“A King a Queen and a Magician is a short story – or the first instalment of a longer story – set in an era which appears to equate to medieval times. The story opens with a detailed description of the main character, Gawain, the King’s Magician as he writes in his room in the castle. The events of the story happen in less than a twenty-four hour period and focus on the relationship of the triad comprising the Magician, the King and the Queen.

Although the story is only six pages long, the author includes some history, a couple of first person conversations and some action. The story is written from the perspective of Gawain so the reader is privy to his thoughts – motivation and fears. The end of the story is the climax and the reader is left wondering what happens next.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the characters and the fast pace of the story although I usually like a more complex storyline and characters which can’t be developed in such a short time. A reader of medieval fantasy with a mystical element would thoroughly enjoy this story.” Sharyn Macdonald

“I enjoyed reading this descriptive short story by David Cox. ‘His penmanship slid across the parchment, mimicking the exact way an insect glides across the water without breaking the surface.’  There is a nice relaxed flow to the text, which holds the reader’s attention and builds with suspense to a thrilling conclusion.

Gawain is an aged magician with an intriguing blue glow, who shares some of the mysteries of his past. The blue glow represents his interest in the arts of knowledge and deciphering. King Thodric is a strong king who we discover has been betrayed. Queen Seleyne is a beautiful lady who holds a secret that could tear their kingdom apart.

My favourite character was Gawain, the powerful magician who undoubtedly has many powers as yet untold.

The past comes back to haunt the royal family in this nail-biter, which reminded me of Games of Thrones. Great story by David Cox, which left me again wishing he would write longer pieces. Well done. I look forward to the next adventure.

Recommended for fantasy and suspense readers aged teenage to mature.” Kasper Beaumont.

DaveCoxAuthor David Cox (right) has been writing since primary school, inspired by Tolkein who “sparked my love of reading and I have been in love with his universe since I read The Hobbit and later, The Lord of the Rings.”

About his writing process, David wittily says, “As George Martin once said, there are two types of writers. There is the gardener, who goes out and plants the seed, waters it, and see what it grows into. The second is the architect, who has all these grand plans and schemes, and will know every inch of the building and what is going to happen before it is finished (just paraphrasing there). I think that I have a mix of both. Most of the time, when I’m writing a short story, I am the gardener, I start off and see what it shapes into. When I’ve got an idea for a hundred thousand word monster, I turn into a bit of an architect. I highlight key points and plot twists and turns that I want to see in the book, and I just let the plant grow into shape.

When not writing, Davis manages to squeeze in time for university, doing assignments, studying and working at a hardware store. “Living as much as I can,” he says.

A King, A Queen and a Magician is now available as a PDF eBook in the writers’ web bookstore.

Other epic fantasy novels also by David Cox include The Valkyr and The Magister.

Are you an Amplified Author?

30 Nov 2014

Meg Vann, CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre took centre stage in the industry sessions at the Gold Coast Writers Festival in 2012 to define as an “Amplified Author” what self-published writers have been doing intuitively for years.

She had charged herself with the task of understanding of who a writer was, as her first undertaking, in a bid to ensure she could communicate effectively and efficiently with the powers that be, on behalf of the QWC membership.  It order to do so, she trawled through policy documents, looking for the descriptors for writers.  Her belief is that if a writer describes themselves in the same terms, then everyone is on the same page!

Somehow, Meg managed share this in a way which made it not sound so droll or as dry.   Self-published, traditionally published, independent… various terms which attempt to explain the choices made by writers in a bid to share their words.

It was the insight into the Amplified Author which captured my attention!  This term coined by Author Chris Meade in an if:Books forum in London in 2010 describes authors engaged in the social web and beyond the role of the traditional author.  Amplified Authors can:

  • Constructively sit at her desk and speak directly to her readership through a blog
  • Can expand that circle of readers gradually by using Twitter and other social networks, can find an active readership interested in offering criticism and ideas, can publish work through print on demand and put it on the global bookshelf of the web, in either full book format or serialised fiction
  • Can set out her stall of publications and services on a website
  • Where she can also offer to run workshops, teach, write reviews, perform
  • She can take her work to publishers and broadcasters able to give detailed evidence of who her readership is and what they think of her work
  • Once she makes it into print, she can use her own energies and laptop to promote her masterpiece
  • Outsource skills of editing, design, marketing (it may not be the mainstream publishing houses that future writers will turn to for these, in fact they may not see themselves as part of literary culture at all, but simply as the makers of good apps) makers will pick and mix the range of skills, resources and people they need to help them, and these will include the means to curate a continuing relationship with the community of readers which forms around their work, plus the means to illuminate their text with images, sound and film.

This description legitimises what hard-working self-published authors have been doing all along.  There is one very subtle ‘shift’ in the definition though that is worth noting.  It is the implication that becoming an Amplified Author is a CHOICE, rather than a reaction to being rejected by the traditional mainstream publishing system.  The working method of an Amplified Author is to use all the incredible opportunities presented in today’s market.

And being amplified – it is being loud and increasing the frequency of the message, adding detail for clarity and fluidity and increases the signal… a perfect descriptor for the modern author.

Taya Bayliss Code Breaker mystery reviewed

27 Nov 2014

Front-Cover-Taya-Bayliss-Code-Breaker-by-EJ-GoreThe Bayliss family is on the move again, this time to Narralong, home of the famous Splinter Island BIrd Sanctuary. Taya’s father is there to investigate a change in the breeding habits of the native birds, or so he says.

Taya has a bad feeling about this trip and an injury to Chris seems to confirm her fears.

A recurring dream, a series of lies and the discovery of a body on the beach leads Taya to suspect that her father is involved in something far more sinister. Taya’s relationship with her father is challenged in this emotional environmental mystery.

The writers’ web reviewers thought that this title in the Taya Bayliss mystery series was suited to older readers. Here’s why…

“My 10-year-old daughter had a read of this book and again enjoyed reading another Taya Bayliss story.The book explores Taya’s father’s involvement in trying to track down some egg poachers.

Taya starts to write down random numbers and letters that she sees while she is out and about doing her daily things. She is very particular about patterns and the need for order. These random numbers and letters are very out of place for Taya.

In the process of writing down these numbers and letters, she sees a pattern in these ‘codes’ and understands that it relates to types of birds and their eggs. Taya makes a connection between this and the poaching. Will the poachers be caught in time?

For those of you that like to read an adventure story as well as cracking codes.” Dyan Burgess

Code Breaker is another exciting suspense mystery for young readers in the successful Taya Bayliss series. I was introduced to this series several months ago and am really enjoying the stories.

I would say that the author has written for a slightly older audience this time. My 10 year old didn’t engage with it, but my 13 year old thinks it’s a great read and recommends it as a great adventure.

It does start off on a serious note and I wasn’t quite sure what the hook was, but it soon settled into a riveting mystery adventure by the end of the first short chapter. The themes are darker than in the Taya Bayliss Dog Sitter book I had read previously, with murders and ruthless criminals the order of the day.

Taya is witness to mysterious events in the bird sanctuary of Narralong and her detective skills are put to the test with a obscure code to crack. Her father is keeping secrets and it is up to the youngster to figure out the truth of the bird thieves before more lives could be lost.

The tension builds nicely in the grand tradition of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. The only thing missing I felt was the camaraderie between characters with Taya’s friend, Chris, out of action in hospital for much of the story. I do feel that these two have a good rapport and hope Chris returns in future novels.

All in all, a fun read. Well edited and nicely constructed. 4 stars.” Kasper Beaumont

EJ-Gore-headshotAuthor EJ Gore (right) grew up with a love of reading thanks to her mother who introduced her to the library.

She says: “That’s where my vivid imagination flourished and my delight in storytelling was born. During my thirty years as a primary school teacher, I used storytelling and drama as the base for my classroom practice creating stories and plays through which my students were encouraged to develop deeper understanding and knowledge of curriculum concepts.”

Now retired from full-time teaching, she has the time for two of her greatest pleasures – writing and travelling.

EJ Gore is currently working on a novel started in 2012 and of her Taya Bayliss series of books, she says, “I wanted to write books that featured real kids dealing with situations that could actually happen, no fantastic super powers or magic, just quick wits and good problem solving skills. I wanted the young readers to be able to imagine themselves in the story. Children are wise little beings who delight in solving mysteries. Adults often underestimate their wisdom.”

When not writing, EJ blogs, promotes her books, tutors children, walks her dogs and travels with her husband.

 Taya Bayliss Code Breaker is now available in the writers’ web bookstore as a PDF eBook or a hard copy book.

The other Taya Bayliss  books in the series, Dog Sitter and Treasure Hunter are reviewed here and here.

 

Digital books – they are good news for everyone (and everything!)

24 Nov 2014

On 25th January 2012, on Fran Kelly’s ABC Radio National show Breakfast, Peter Marks was talking ‘tablets’ in his Tech review.   EBook readers and tablets were under many Christmas trees, with sales data from the US indicating a doubling of ownership – from 10% of the adult population to 19%.

The Amazon Kindle has been around since 2007.  I received mine as a birthday gift in 2009.  Whilst certainly this doesn’t make me an early adopter, it does mean quite a few new models have now been released to the market which supersede mine!  Now, you can buy a Nook, an iPad, a Sony Reader.   The market has finally reached a critical mass where publishers now consider releasing a book as a print AND an eBook version.

Tick – proliferation of published books now as eBooks.  Great for readers.

Peter Marks commented on the oft heard comment that digital age for books means the demise of the publishing industry.   “I don’t see it as the death of publishing … I see it as the birth of publishing.”  I have say, I agree.

Tick – access to publishing.  Great for aspiring writers.

For the younger readers, used to reading on screen, the next natural step for digital books is text books.  Last Friday Apple announced a deal with the three big text book publishers McGraw Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflen Harcourt (who between them account for 90% of text books sales in the US) to provide content which is priced at $14.99 or less.   These digital books, produced using the free app iBook Author, are part of the iBook 2 evolution.

Tick – reduced volume of paper.  Great for students no longer lugging heavy bags and for great for parents pockets.

Personally, it is the immediacy, accessibility and the affordability of digital books which has me hooked.   I download a book, consume it, and may or may not think of it again.  When I really enjoy a book and want it to have a more permanent place in my life, then I go to my local bookstore and purchase a print copy.   And this is appreciated.  Today, via our local newspaper, one independent bookstore owner graciously described ‘the initial panic felt (when eBooks found favour)… had wavered as devoted clientele kept coming back.’

Tick – multiple platforms for delivery.  Great for the traditional publishers and the book stores bottom line.

Tick – and finally, this selective purchasing is great for my bookcase which no longer groans under the weight of unwanted titles.

Five good reasons and not all of them obvious!

Cheers, Emma.

Fantasy, The Magister reviewed

21 Nov 2014

The Magister“Congratulations to David Cox for luring me in again with his great writing and leaving me begging for more,” so says writers’ web reviewer and author, Kasper Beaumont of the fantasy novel, The Magister.

The great magister, Brennan Redmayne dies of old age, though there is an odd suspicion rising in a few of his followers.

Three men are sent out to lead a company of riders north, west and south to go out in search of the three greatest friends of the magister; Ludwig, Brunian and Abbot, in a bid to get to the bottom of the mystery of his death.

Here is what the writers’ web reviewers thought about The Magister, suited to hard-core fantasy lovers as well as those who prefer some more realism and history.

“The title “Magister” by David Cox has been loosely adapted from the Middle Ages meaning, a personage of authority. So, we know that the hero is someone important. Interestingly, the title character only features in name and legacy, and has no active role in the actual story. The story centres around different troops who were under the jurisdiction of the Magister and their roles and ambitions now that a new leader is sought.

The fantasy is well-written with strong, unusual grammar usage and, a strong and clear voice. David Cox is comfortable with the language and style of this genre. I felt it easy to enter into the mood of the story and its dialogue.

The character of note for me was the Captain, Eamond, Lord Greyworm because he exhibits strength, loyalty, courage and intuition when assessing the old man. He also isn’t a ‘hot head’ like some of the other characters, more of a strategist.

I enjoyed the author’s descriptive style, clear and clean writing; it effortlessly and subtly drew me into the desired mood for potentially imminent action. I liked the ‘darkness’ of the writing mood, it somehow didn’t demand any emotion from me as the reader.

This is a good story for a beginner in fantasy reading as it is not bizarre. It is easy to read and would also appeal to the seasoned reader of this genre. Both female and male readers would find this a good read. I enjoyed the work.” Gloria Hamilten

“The Magister is a short fantasy story which is set in a harsh medieval-type world where Lord Redmayne has been killed and riders set forth from the castle in three directions to notify other lords. As with a previous David Cox story I have reviewed, I enjoyed the descriptive and gritty writing style. You really feel drawn into the world he has created.

The main character here is Eamond Greyworm, a rather suspicious-sounding name to me (shades of Tolkein’s Wormtongue) for a young knight who has to resort to hard tactics to keep his older minions in check. I like the descriptions of his leadership struggles and would be interested to hear more of why the young man has been given this position.

I get the feeling there is more of this story to come, so I’m hoping that perhaps a novella or full novel will result as more is written. Kasper Beaumont

The Magister appears to be set in a fantasy country similar to the middle ages and opens with a company of three groups of warriors setting out to deliver an important message to the various parts of the kingdom. The main characters in this first section of the story are Uric, Eamond and Gamult, the three captains of the horseman. The story follows the journey of Eamond and his men as they separate from the other two groups.

The story is written in the third person with an abundance of descriptive language that sets the scene very well. Because only the first part of the story is being reviewed, there was limited story and character development. The story thus far, has been developed well with enough detail given to convey the type of society and the characters of the men that we meet along the journey. The reader is left anticipating some twist of plot or complication that will then have to be resolved.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the setting and characters as I sought to understand this fantasy story. I expect there will more adventure to come as the story unfolds. This story would be enjoyed by readers of ‘old world’ fantasy and adventure.” Sharyn Macdonald.

Full reviews of The Magister can be viewed on the Reviews page.

DaveCox Author David Cox (right) has been writing since primary school, inspired by Tolkein who “sparked my love of reading and I have been in love with his universe since I read The Hobbit and later, The Lord of the Rings.”

About his writing process, David wittily says, “As George Martin once said, there are two types of writers. There is the gardener, who goes out and plants the seed, waters it, and see what it grows into. The second is the architect, who has all these grand plans and schemes, and will know every inch of the building and what is going to happen before it is finished (just paraphrasing there). I think that I have a mix of both. Most of the time, when I’m writing a short story, I am the gardener, I start off and see what it shapes into. When I’ve got an idea for a hundred thousand word monster, I turn into a bit of an architect. I highlight key points and plot twists and turns that I want to see in the book, and I just let the plant grow into shape.

When  not writing, Davis manages to squeeze in time for  university, doing assignments, studying and working at a hardware store. “Living as much as I can,” he says.

The Magister is now available as a PDF eBook  in the writers’ web bookstore.

Other epic fantasy novels also by David Cox include The Valkyr and A King, A Queen and a Magician .

Story Writing Ideas – Just one image can start a great story

18 Nov 2014

I loved Jackie French’s comment at the CYA Conference in 2009 so much it still is posted on my wall. “It doesn’t take one idea to create a book, it takes THOUSANDS.” So, where do ideas come from?

I have the good fortune of being part of a local writers group.  Yes – one of those often told truisms – it really is INVALUABLE to be a part of a writers group… but I digress (more of this later!)  There was talk of imposing a ‘deadline’ for writing, to ‘keep us honest’.   The deadline was next meeting.  I had a terrible flash … I simply did not have a couple of days to wander aimlessly in the streets, letting my head empty for it to then be overtaken with a brilliant idea, which then brewed and simmered until clarity befell me.  (You have a huge insight now into my writing habits and possibly the exact understanding of why I don’t manage to produce much of it!)  What on earth was I going to do!!!!

Image – get an image and free write… it is a method I use in the classroom and it actually works.  The image I used was a little boy in a Telstra advertisement.  He was ‘old fashioned’ looking, with a creamy coloured woollen vest which came from a thick cumbersome knitting needle, yet an lopsided smile which generated trust.  Where did ‘he’ come from, who were his parents, who influenced him, who tucked into bed each night, having supported his every whim… Slowly, his world emerged.

The trick to the process is to not actually over think the image selection.  Have a folder you have already filled with images that you simply like.  It may be the colour, the room layout, a face, an event.  Don’t intellectualise it, just cut it out, put it into a folder and then walk away.  When you need a flash of inspiration, just close your eyes, rifle through the images and when you can feel you have one, pull it out.

If it is a setting, then who would live there?  If it is an event, who would participate?  If it is a person, who are they?  Answer the questions and you will find you are on your way.

Have fun

X Em

 

Murder mystery Muddied Water reviewed

15 Nov 2014

Muddied Water by Neil McInnes Front CoverMike Brennan, at the age of twelve, witnessed the murder of beautiful young girl near a swimming hole on the Murrumbidgee River. Brennan had kept the secret of that dark and terrible day for fifty years, but now his story needed to be told.

The writers’ web reviewers admired the surprising twist in this murder mystery, likening it to one by Agatha Christie. Here’s what they have to say about Muddied Water:

“Muddied Water is an easy read full of the excitement of murder with a twist, intrigue for the main character as he digs for the truth, and my only criticism is that it was not long enough. A little more of what was written would have kept me locked onto the pages longer…and not with boredom.

For 50 years, Mike Brennan has harboured a guilt that he has finally decided to face. His story is in the Murrumbidgee River region.

The author writes the book making it a easy-to-read story. He seems to know the Murrumbidgee River area intimately and describes it comfortably. The author has taken care in formulating the character Mike Brennan, to the point where at times I felt I was reading the story from a personal perspective.” Angeline Beikoff

“At the tender age of 12 years Mike Brennan witnesses what he thinks is the brutal murder of a teenage girl. He flees the scene scared that somebody will see him. Afraid to tell anyone about this he carries the memory with him though out his adult life, which results in horrendous nightmares.

After the death of his wife he consults a psychologist who encourages him to return to the scene of the crime so he can face his demons what takes place in the town of Wagga Wagga on his return dredges up even more deep seated memories.

This book has an interesting storyline and a great twist. It is well written and has very believable characters. The dialogue is natural and easy to relate too. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.”  Coral Nichols

“The title of this novel aptly foretells the plot. The author has provided some strong descriptive passages of the place and feel of the Murrumbidgee river as the background to a fast paced novel with a surprising twist. I never saw that coming and really enjoyed it. I congratulate you on your effort. I enjoy reading Australian stories.” Lyndall Holmes

“Writers Web has discovered Australia’s own Agatha Christie in Neil McInnes. What an extraordinary mystery novella you have written Neil in “Muddied Waters”. Loved every minute of it, and could not put it down until I had finished reading it. I was even tempted to flash through to the end to see what happened!

The title was brilliant. It reflected the muddied waters of one of Australia’s historic rivers, and figuratively speaking, the muddied waters of the murder and the muddied waters of the police and corruption.

It was an absolutely ripping yarn, that was well-edited. Congratulations Neil and Writers Web for finding such a great new author.” Judith Flitcroft

Full reviews of Muddied Water are on the Book Reviews page.

Neil-McInnesAuthor, Neil McInnes (right) began writing fiction after he sold his consultancy business and retired in 2006. Since then Neil has written five novels, three screenplays and numerous short stories.

He says, “I have a vivid imagination, a love of books and immense pleasure from creating stories that others may enjoy reading. Usually I have an outline of the story in my mind when I commence. I break my story into three acts then begin typing, jumping from one chapter to another as the plot evolves. I know this is not a very structured method of writing a 500 page novel, but once I get started the words seem to flow.”

Neil’s other books YA adventure, Eagle’s Realm is reviewed here, and his crime novel The Rutlidge Profiles is reviewed here. Both books have very positive reviews from the writers’ web reviewers.

Muddied Waters is now available from the bookstore as a PDF eBook.

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