Past and Present – The Shop that Time Forgot

Maryborough is an grand old Queensland town, not far from Hervey Bay or the Fraser Coast, full of history, Mary Poppins even visits there once a year for the festival in her honour.  There I found, ‘the shop that time forgot’, quirky, dusty, ‘if the walls could talk’, type of place.

Irish immigrants, Patrick Brennan and Martin Geraghty were brother in laws and together they opened their grocery store in 1871, eventually Martin’s family took over the full ownership, and ran it till 1972 when Martin’s youngest son George, died.  Georges’s sisters, as the story goes, actually did most of the work and day to day running of the business, go girls!

the shop that time forgot

When George died there was no one left who wanted to take over, so as it stood, the doors were shut. In 1975, The National Trust took over the building, painstakingly cleaning  the shop, restoring its structure and turning it into a museum.  It was open to view by 1990, yes, it took a while to get things done by donations, raffles, etc, etc.

When I walked into the shop it was like stepping into a time warp, the shelves still stocked with its contents preserved in their original condition, curry from India dating back to 1890, old medicines, teas, washing powders, preserves and jams from the family owned orchard and big thick leather bound ledgers and old typewriter in its office space.  Out the back were the stables, and  a storage area of boxes, barrels, tea chests and a cart on rail tracks to carry produce to the front of the store.

Time stood still in the store, as the past and the present still meet.   I think Martin, George and the sisters still hang around the shop still, if you know what I mean!

Resources and Photos – Queensland Tourism, The Sydney Morning Herald 19/6/2008


Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill is an open air museum in Ballarat Victoria, which depicts the first ten years of its history after the discovery of gold in 1851.  It is run by board of directors and is a community based museum.

sovereign hill street


The name originally Ballaarat comes from the  Aboriginal name of the place, ‘balla aret’ or ‘resting place’, since changed to Ballarat in 1996.

Ladies inperiod dress

Sovereign Hill itself and the area around is part of the richest alluvial gold rush in the world.  The second largest nugget found in the world was mined in Ballarat it weighed 69 kg, worth over $3 million US in gold now, then it was worth 10,500 pound.

Sovereign Hill is a wonderful place to visit, and the whole  of the old Victorian gold rush area is  rich in history, with its lovingly restored and maintained small towns.

Accordian man sovereign hill


Past and Present – Places I Love to Share



ECHUCA is located on the Murray River on the Victorian side, it is said to be a living memorial of the Murray.

The Aboriginal meaning for Echuca is ‘Meeting of the Waters’, which is indicative of the role rivers have played in the town’s existence.

echuca 1897

Photo from

Founded by a very enterprising character of the early colonial days, an ex-convict named Henry Hopewood; he bought a small punt in 1850 and operate it across the Murray River.  The settlement was known as Hopewood then changed to Echuca.

By 1870  Echuca had risen in prominence as Australia’s largest inland Port, Echuca was both a key river port and railway junction. Steam-driven paddle boats would arrive at the 400-metre long redgum Echuca Wharf, unloading it to be transported by rail to Melbourne. Wool, wheat, other grains, livestock and timber were the most common cargoes.  The wharf has been listed as a heritage now, and the wharf area and some of the town  preserved, as a living reminder of the bustling Port it used to be in the good old days, before the railroads then the trucks took care of transporting goods.

Information from:


Author Interview – Elizabeth Moore

Welcome to my blog site, hope you enjoy your visit and enjoy getting to know author Elizabeth Moore, these interviews are a great way of getting to know about authors and their books.

Hi Elizabeth, thank you for dropping by for a chat, I am looking forward to reading your book Incurable  it is on my list and now you have a new  book, Every Big and Little Wish which will be released next week, my list just got longer!  It is obvious that writing is a real passion for you, as you have more on the way.

EC bio pic

Tell me how did your book come to life?

While on a walk, I passed a rundown property in an otherwise neat and tidy neighbourhood. It was late spring, and yet a dried up Christmas wreath hung on the entry door. I couldn’t help but wonder who lived in that sad house. I already had a character gestating in my head, a misplaced young girl longing to fit in at a new school in a new city. I decided to give her a reason to knock on that door.

Did you plan to be an author? Can you explain your experience?

When I was seven, my parent’s separated and I missed my father after he moved clear across town. I made Dad a card, did the artwork and wrote a little poem. He cried when he read my words. I was instantly hooked. I knew I wanted to do that over and over, write words that made others feel something meaningful.

Did you have to think about the title of your book, and how did you come to choose the name?

My father’s Uncle Hec suffered severe emotional trauma at age nine, and, as a result, his IQ never fully developed. He lived with his mother well into adulthood. I remember visiting and him proudly showing off his collection of wishbones. He had hundreds of them. I always knew I was going to work wishbones into a novel. Thus the name: Every Big & Little Wish.

What location(s) did you decide to use for your story and what were your reasons?

Every Big & Little Wish is set in two cities. My protagonist, Jacy Wilbert and her family move from Redly, California, to Portland, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest. The juxtaposition of the two dissimilar cities figures prominently in the story. I chose Portland and Redley because I have lived in both cities, and love them equally.

Tell us what is your book about?

Every Big and Little Wish opens in late spring 1970. Sixteen-year-old Jacy Wilbert’s Mom got promoted, so her parents sold their Victorian home in California and moved to a townhouse in Oregon.

Torn away from the only home she’s ever known, forced to leave her beloved German shepherd behind, Jacy feels misplaced. Exacerbating an already terrible situation, her dad runs off with the bombshell real estate agent who sold them their townhouse. And, just when it seems things can’t get any worse, her mom loses the stupid job they left California for in the first place and begins to drown her sorrows with pink wine, night after night. Jacy’s caught in the middle, struggling to maintain a relationship with her AWOL dad while tolerating his annoying, much-younger girlfriend.

Missing old friends back in California, and feeling like an outsider, Jacy needs to build a new social life in a new school. Not the sort of girl to wait around for what she wants to come her way, she sets her sights on Neil Wilder, the best-looking boy around.

Everything changes when Jacy Wilbert knocks on the wrong door.

What is the main theme running through your book and what does this main theme mean to you? Is it a passion in your life?

The first stanza from an Emily Dickinson poem stuck with me at a very young age:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

 Our human tendency to hope is what fuels our impulse to wish for what we think we want or need, and that’s the theme at the heart of Every Big & Little Wish.

What do you think makes a great writer? Do you need to be taught to write?

I don’t know that I am a “great” writer, but I strive to be. I don’t think an author should ever cease perfecting their craft. Each project teaches us something new. Every book is a stepping stone to greatness if we are willing to push ourselves.

Do you have a message you want to convey with your book(s)?

In my first novel, Incurable, I set out to explore the influence mortality plays in our decisions and choices. Here’s a quote from the book: We enter this life and can never know what wonderful or terrible thing might strike next. What just happened is gone forever and all we have to hold onto is what happens next. Each moment presents an opportunity for renewed existence. Time and time again, we reinvent ourselves, for good or for bad. Mortal as we might be, we reject or repeat or revise or repair our lot. We are nothing more than what we leave behind in our wake.

Incurable QBanner 02

Every Big & Little Wish is a coming-of-age novel due out next week, actually! Jacy Wilbert is only seventeen and yet suddenly forced to deal with displacement and disappointment. Obsession leads to danger. Our choices matter, what seems like a small decision can have huge consequences.

#1 half wishes

Do you have plans to write another book(s) with the same theme(s)?

I am interested in telling stories that not only entertain but contain insight that might shine a light on our collaborative struggle to understand, not only ourselves but the complex world around us. My next book is titled Letters from LaLa Land, and I am currently writing a companion book for Incurable.

How do you feel when you see the numbers of books on the market today and the number of self-published authors increasing and everyone trying to get attention? How do you keep motivated?

I am represented by Booktrope, a hybrid publisher. To read more about Booktrope, go to: Although Booktrope follows the model of team publishing, we share the same struggles as both indie authors and traditionally published authors. How do we get our books seen by readers? How do we promote without being obnoxious? I survive the pressure and noise of social media and promotional burdens by staying focused on the work. My work is my salvation. Making connections with readers is a gratifying and humbling experience, and I seek more contact. I will never stop writing. I may as well toss the result out into the world and see what happens.

Is there is anything else you’d like to add?

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes the master. – Ernest Hemingway

EC Moore is the author of Incurable, published through Booktrope. Look for her second novel, Every Big & Little Wish October 2015.

When EC Moore’s not writing feverishly, you will find her out walking or sightseeing. She’s wild about coffee, books, cooking, good wine, cairn terriers, miniature ponies, historical houses, and witty people.

She resides in a fifties bungalow in Southern California, with her creative-director husband, a yappy blonde dog, and one feisty Chihuahua. 

ollie & Lita summer


Twitter: @ecmooreauthor


Author Interview – Glen Barrera

Welcome to my blog site, hope you enjoy your visit and enjoy getting to know author Glen Barrera, these interviews are a great way of getting to know about authors and their books.

Hi Glen thank you for dropping by for a chat, I enjoyed your book, ‘The Assassin Who Couldn’t Dance’, I didn’t know if it was my type of book but I was wrong, I got whipped up in the story in no time at all, and I was glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to experience and new read.  It is also very exciting that you will have your next book out very soon, I am looking forward to that as well.

Tell me how the book came to life?

 Strangely, it began when I was putting up my Christmas tree and the tin top of a round, red ornament came off. I looked inside the empty chamber and pondered whether I could put something in there, replace the top and hang it back on the tree. A piece of paper, rolled around a thin object and inserted in the opening seemed like a good idea. The idea for the Assassin grew from that ornament (well, I did say it was strange!).


Did you plan to be an author? Can you explain your experience?

I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was in college. But life (marriage, two children, and long work hours) can sometimes dampen dreams. It wasn’t until my son and daughter were out of college and on their own, and my wife and I divorced, that I found time to take a two-year writing course and begin my first novel. Actually, being an author never entered my mind until my second novel was almost completed. My goal was to write novels, and I was quite happy doing just that. It was my writers group who encouraged me to publish. And it is through that process that I find myself an author.

Did you have to think about the title of your book, and how did you come to choose the name?

Assassin had a different title until the book was in the second draft. At that time, I decided I wanted something more out of the title, something that would give an inkling to the character of Hector, the assassin. As I went through the book again, I came across a paragraph I wrote. Hector was reflecting on how different his life might be if his family had moved to the U.S. sixteen years before. Part of his thought process questioned, “….would he have a girlfriend now? Would he have learned how to dance?” It sounded so innocent…

What location (s) did you decide to use for your story and what were your reasons?

 Of course, Iraq, where the story begins. In the U.S. I used Wisconsin as the main stage. While married, we would often travel from the Chicago suburbs to Door County, Wisconsin where my in-laws had a summer home (Morgan and Russ’ farm house is a larger representation of that very house). During the many trips I became fascinated with the big farms south of Green Bay, even then considering them a good place to set a story. I also use the city of Milwaukee. In the book, I describe a fictional two-story mall with connecting skywalks from block to block and apartments at the western end, where Denny Leary and Gail live. It is based on a real mall. And a close friend of mine lived in one of those apartments.

Tell us what your book is about

 I’ll give the short version: The story is about Hector (his current name). Since the age of seven, after his father and older brother are murdered by corrupt U.S. army officers, he has been home taught by Teacher, a close friend of Hector’s father. As the oldest male in the family it is his duty to avenge the deaths. So along with rigorous academic studies, Hector is taught to kill. By the age of twenty-three, Hector can speak five languages, kill a man a hundred different ways, but has learned almost nothing about life and love. The story, then, is about Hector’s quest for vengeance, but along the way, and maybe more important, his quest to discover who he really is, and where he belongs. (Please see link below for a longer version)


What is the main theme running through your book and what does this theme mean to you. Is it a passion in your life?

 I began with the general theme – Relationships within conflict. But by the time the story was completed, I realized that depending on what level the book is read, it might include the underlying theme – Love and acceptance. For not only was Hector looking for that missing part of his life, Lucy, the woman he loves, Gill Scott and Morgan Kelly are searching for the same thing. For the second part of your question: Yes. The need for love and acceptance is universal.

What do you think makes a great writer? Do you need to be taught to write?

 I could spout-out a string of clichés for the first part of your question (perseverance, practice, etc.). But, to me, the key to becoming a great writer is the overwhelming desire to be become one. To your second question: Everyone knows how to write, but not everyone knows how to structure words into a meaningful sentence. And it’s not just the sentence or paragraph – novels, no matter what genre, also have a structure. In that respect, some kind of instruction, whether from how-to books on writing and novels, internet courses, or a local writing class or group, could save a lot of time and frustration.

Do you have a message you want to convey with your books?

 Family and friends stick together, no matter the odds against them.

Do you have plans to write another book(s) with the same theme(s)?

 I’m glad you asked! In fact, my next book – A Capable and Wide Revenge (title from Shakespeare’s Othello) – will be out within the next ten days. Hector, Lucy and the ex-recon team are back, along with a few surprises. And yes, the themes will remain the same.


How do you feel when you see the numbers of books on the market today and the number of self-published authors increasing and everyone trying to get attention? How do you keep motivated?

 Honestly, I don’t pay much attention to the numbers. As I mentioned at the beginning, I think of myself as a writer, not so much an author or a sales and marketing expert. So I do the best I can in the marketing department, promoting on Twitter and Facebook, and work on my third novel with the working title, Sweet Peach.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

 I would like to add a big – Thank You – to those who have read Assassin. I’ve had some wonderful reviews and comments. Your words are truly appreciated. I’d also like to give a shout-out to the terrific friends I’ve made on Facebook author groups. I am grateful to be associated with such a supportive and caring collection of talented writers. I’ve learned so much from you. And finally, thank you, Sharyn for having me as guest.


For more information about Glen’s Books and social media links:



Twitter: @glen_barrera

The Assassin Who Couldn’t Dance: 

Author Interview – Molly Gambiza

Welcome to my blog site, appreciate you dropping by, I think it is lovely way to get to know authors through these interviews, hope you think the same.   Last time I had Anita Kovacevic call in, and this week’s guest is the a lovely author with a mission, Molly Gambiza, so pour yourself a cuppa, sit back and enjoy.

Hi Molly, thank you for sharing about yourself and your work with us, I enjoyed your book ‘A Woman’s Weakness’, it conveys a serious issue that confronts many women all over the world.

Molly compress

Tell me how did your book come to life?

‘A Woman’s Weakness’ novel came as no surprise as I had caught the writing bug from my first novel ‘True Colours’ and my second novel ‘Mistaken Identity’.  I felt I had much more to say, more stories to tell and more characters to develop.  ‘A Woman’s Weakness’ showed me that this was no longer a hobby but a passion.

Did you plan to be an author? Can you explain your experience?

I wanted to create stories from an early age, that was my dream but I never had the tools, I needed to polish up my English for a start.  When I finally had the tools, time stood in the way.  I was working twelve hours a day, five days a week and on the weekends I just wanted to rest.  I would read a lot of novels at work and I guess that’s where it began for me.  I read hundreds of books and thought to myself, “Do you know what Molly, you can do this as well”.   I started jotting down a few ideas which developed into storylines and now I’m an Author; it’s funny how the universe works.


Did you have to think about the title of your book, and how did you come to choose the name?

The title is the longest part of the process, I went through scores of ideas for ‘A Woman’s Weakness’, but this fitted snugly with the theme of the story, when the title is right you just know. I had suggested a title to my Son during the process, after ‘A Woman’s Weakness’ was published he came to me saying, “Thank God you didn’t choose the other one, I couldn’t sleep when you suggested it”.  It does require time and careful thought, you want a title that grabs the audience but represents your work accurately as well.  It shouldn’t be rushed, because of this however it can have you feeling left on the shelf (pun intended), when you know, you know!

What location(s) did you decide to use for your story and what were your reasons?

My story is set in England where I live and Uganda where I’m from, the themes I was addressing through the story were things I saw and heard growing up and both countries were ideal location to set the story.  It made it easier to create characters and paint scenes as I was from the areas I was writing about.  It was important to me to accurately paint the picture; I wanted my readers to be so drawn in that they could feel like they were there.

Tell us what is your book about?

‘A Woman’s Weakness’ is about Eva a young, gentle African woman who immigrated to United Kingdom in order to get away from her controlling family and their expectations.  She is in for a shock when she blindly falls in love with David, a man from Uganda.  David is a man who practices domestic violence in his household.  Eva must obey and submit, accept anything thrown at her which includes a controlling mother-in-law and a sullen step-daughter, Tamara. Eva isn’t living, she is surviving. There is a voice in her head shouting, No more! But she has neither voice nor courage to walk away, she is a broken woman. But when David beats her in front of their three year daughter Mia, something inside Eva snaps, realising that David needs her more than she ever needed him.

An emotional tale of a marriage pushed to the brink, ‘A Woman’s Weakness’ explores the limits of love, loyalty, and one woman’s self-worth.


What is the main theme running through your book and what does this main theme mean to you. Is it a passion in your life?

‘A Woman’s Weakness’, illustrates the dynamics of traditional Ugandan households, not all but the things the women go through in common.  Women were seen as chattel and nothing more by these types of men. The theme is something I’m passionate about, I want women to realise that they aren’t alone in their struggle and that there is always a way to break free.

I saw women abused and oppressed all too often when I was younger, I knew I never wanted to be that ‘Woman’ but knew I had to do something to help that ‘Woman’.  Writing is my way of helping, hopefully through my words someone somewhere will realise the pain he’s inflicting, or the strength she actually has.


What do you think makes a great writer? Do you need to be taught to write?

A great writer is someone who can educate through a gripping story. Authors like Wilbur Smith, John Grisham and Danielle Steele are excellent writers and are authors who figured out how to do that perfectly. I think anybody with a story to tell or advice to impart can write. A lot of the time authors get caught up in the publishing and promotion process and forget that it’s the story that will sell or inspire a reader.  If an author can move a reader to tears, can make them laugh and can make them think, all in the same book, they are a great writer.

Do you have a message you want to convey with your book(s)?

My message is a simple one, “Be all you can be, live your dreams and aspirations, follow your passion, live a full life so you may die empty”.  My work so far has advocated for ‘Women’ and our empowerment, especially in Third-World countries.  If a collective conscious can come together we may be able to change perceptions and actually help women to achieve their full potential.


Do you have plans to write another book(s) with the same theme(s)?

I am now working on, ’A Woman Weakness’ book two, it should be ready soon. I have a few more books in the pipeline that follow the same themes I’ve been writing about.  I have looked at writing different genres and relish a challenge so you may see a crime book pop up by me one day.


How do you feel when you see the numbers of books on the market today and the number of self-published authors increasing and everyone trying to get attention? How do you keep motivated?

I am actually motivated by the increase of self-published authors.  I know the struggle of trying to get published and the bigger struggle of once getting published, ensuring that you aren’t messed about by a publisher.  It makes the journey more worthwhile knowing that there is an author somewhere in the world going through what I am.  My family keep me motivated; my eldest Son writes poetry so he is my ‘go-to’ person on anything literary.  Having a support system is important in this process as well, sometimes you need a gentle reminder that things will be ok.

Is there is anything else you’d like to add?

I want to thank Sharyn Be for inviting me over for a chat to talk about myself.  I would like also to thank each and every one who has supported my cause talking openly about domestic violence.  It’s not a subject one is comfortable with but it should not be pushed under the carpet. I encourage women not to suffer in silence because silence kills. To the readers, thank you for spreading the word.

 A womens weakness compress

Twitter- @GambizaMolly
Facebook- Molly Gambiza

The Miracle of Love

Hi my name is Cosmo, but you can call me Cosi, and this is my story.

I was what you would call a rescue dog, no I didn’t rescue, I was rescued!

cosi in the sun

I am safe and happy now and live with my mum and dad in a beautiful new kennel, they call ‘the unit’.  They can’t help but give me lots of hugs and cuddles, because of my good looks, charm, magnetic personality and ‘dogone’ lovability.  I get the best of food, I don’t like green things in my food though, I will pick those out, but ‘greenies’ I love.  Actually I will say it again ‘greenies’, for those who don’t know, the most beautiful, tasty and healthy treat a dog can have, they are instead of bones.  My mum said I can’t have bones because it will ruin the furnishings especially when I try to bury them in the couch, under the pillows; there’s no dirt, you see, in ‘the unit’.

I get to go on two walks a day and my favourite is to the dog park where I can walk and stalk and pounce on other unsuspecting dogs.  I can sniff and follow smells and pee and spread my calling card, everywhere I feel the need to freshen up the place, you know.

My human ‘daddie’ gave me a voice, it’s a boy voice, with squeaky, strained tones and both mum and dad help me give my opinion on things.

I have boy time with my dad and our mates, I feel like one of the boys.  We go fishing in the boat; I even have a buoyancy vest, just in case.  Sometimes we just hang out and have pizza, umm that’s my fav!  And when mum and I spend time together, first we cleanup and do a bit of washing, that’s my fun job, I like to get in there and help sort the wash but mum says she’d better do it so it’s all in one room and it’s more organized, don’t understand that?  Then we might go visit the other pretty ladies for a cuppa, or just snuggle together and have a snooze.

It wasn’t always this way though, way back in my other life, it’s actually like a dream now, that other life, its fading away.  I got out of my yard; I was a bit bored you see, because no one was home much and I got used to entertaining myself.  I felt like a bit of adventure, I guess that’s the Jack Russell/Maltese in me, and before I knew it I was picked up by the council ranger and put in the dog pound.  I mean, don’t they know who I am?  It stressed me out, that did!  I tried to tell them I needed to go home; they didn’t listen just left me in cold, cement, floored cage with some other dogs.

Before I knew it I was at ‘Monika’s Doggie Rescue’, and they were very kind to me, taking my photo and the Vet was checking me over.  I must say the Vet gave me lots of attention; it was okay till they stuck something up my bottom and gave me some needles.  They said I needed to get a chip, I said, ‘I’ll have Deli rock please’, then they said I have to be vaccinated and desexed, ‘Oh no, not my manhood!  I felt sleepy and when I woke up I just didn’t feel very good and my voice was squeaky and some of my body parts were missing.

I never felt the same after that, I was feeling sore and tired, my body had bruises all over it, and they said I had low platelets and a heart murmur, I heard them say that they didn’t know if I would make it, I don’t get that either, cause I got this far didn’t I?  So, they gave me medicine and that’s when my fur fell out.

I watched the world go by, humans came to visit and sometimes took a doggie home, but I didn’t feel like giving much attention to the visitors, like the other dogs, looking up to the humans with those ‘goo goo’ eyes and all!  I wanted my humans to come and get me; I longed to go back to my home, even though I couldn’t remember what they looked like or smelt like.  Would a new family like me and take me home, even though my fur was falling out, even though, I was skinny and scruffy now; I was starting to feel a bit sad, until…

Adam and Amy came to visit, they were looking for a doggie like me, that they could take home.  Missing having a dog around the place they needed a dog that would love them and protect them.  They had some rules though, that I could be left on my own while they were at work, I didn’t moult,  I didn’t have much hair left to bother with, and I was sociable.  As I always say, ‘Yeah, I like people!  Well some of them!’

Amy and Adam had seen a couple of possible candidates online.  Is that some new leadThey came to check them out; Monica said they were not that suitable for their situation, Amy was upset and very disappointed.

Then Monica turned to them with another option, yours truly.  ‘We do have one other possible for you, however, he is sick and will need a lot of extra care, that would mean Vet bills?  Take him for a walk and get to know him, if he feels comfortable to jump into your car for a drive, then you’ll know.’

So off we went for a walk, they smelt fine and they had nice loving calm voices and warm gentle hugs.  I made sure I looked straight into their eyes just to make sure and I knew that they were the ones; yep they were my new mum and dad.  We walked over to their car and as soon as Adam opened the door I jumped in, wagged my tail and barked ‘Let’s go home!’


That was that, we did have to learn about each other’s ways, and we did do some training together  They were quite good, I must say even though I did make sure they look good, if you know what I mean?  I did put a bit of time in there, they needed to know I don’t like fast moves, they are not to move me when I am asleep and please do not touch my bottom area.

I’m all better now too, I did give them a scare with a low platelet count again, so back on the medication and Aunty Margaret, (she’s my Naturopath) came on the scene with some natural supplements, which I still take to keep me strong.  My skin is healthy and pink, my fur is shiny and soft and I have energy to play all day with my cousin dogs.  I still bark at some boys that I know may be trouble, as they run along or ride a bike, just to warn them not to mess with me.

It’s been two years now and I know I must say my mum and dad are the best, well trained parents a doggie could have and I love them and they love me and it was that love that got me better and made me the dog I am today.

Oh by the way, have a look at the photos, their the proof, the one at the top is at Christmas on my new bed taking in a few rays!  Then one when I was sick and then one now I’m well, lookin’ good!  And then there is our family portrait, handsome family, don’t you reckon!

Cosi family photo

Author Interview with Anita Kovacevic

Welcome to my blog site, appreciate you dropping by, I think it is lovely way to get to know authors through these interviews, hope you think the same.   Last week I had Rebecca McCray call in, and this week’s guest is the lovely Anita Kovacevic, so pour yourself a cuppa, sit back and enjoy.

Anita is a teacher, so who better to write children’s stories!  Thank you Anita, you are always so willing to promote your colleagues in the writing world and their work, so it is a pleasure to have you share about yourself and your booksmy.banner.May2015.

Tell me how did your book come to life?

Well, amazingly enough, I already have several books out there (still can’t believe it myself), but today I will talk about my children’s book, Winky’s Colours.


I have been teaching English as a second language in a private school in Croatia for over 20 years now (Hi to all my ‘cricket’-pals, if anyone is reading!), and we believe games, art, music and storytelling are the best teaching tools you can have. I have this tendency to add an intro story to every nursery rhyme or grammar issue I teach (working with various levels and age groups), and Winky was one of such creations. It was a cold winter, Valentine’s Day was approaching, I was teaching polar animals and environment, so I was trying to find some story to make it all come together and engage the children. Winky and Betty just woke me up one veeeeeery cold and veeeeery early morning and said: ‘Look no further! Here we are!’ I got up, drew some flashcards, made story notes and told my students the story.


There is nothing quite like having childen engaged in storytelling! It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! They react, suggest, question, demand, rethink, feel, ask… Kids are amazing. Their criticism is like no review out there – worth more than any treasure imagineable and thoroughly applicable! (Good thing they don’t charge for their editing services;)

With each telling, I polished the story a bit more, added voices to my characters, pruned the plot, improved the illustrations… My teacher colleagues were very helpful as well, as they accepted the story presented to them on one of our workshops, and also used it in their lessons, providing encouraging live feedback.

Did you plan to be an author? Can you explain your experience?

Oh my, no, not at all! But then again, as a kid I said I’d never be a teacher, too, and look where it’s gotten me;)!

Looking back now, I do see that stories and poetry have always been rooted in me. From the elementary school literature and drama clubs, to developing my own teaching materials, and then being encouraged by some colleagues to write it all down and make ‘something’ of it. My Croatian colleagues and teachers from an online teaching community ( ) got me thinking about writing my stories down, followed my first blogging attempts and helped proofread and comment. My characters kept waking me up, and I can remember so many sleepless nights, writing down in bed or on the floor next to it, trying not to wake my husband or kids up with my crazy insomniac creativity attacks. Still, all that was merely writing for myself, not daring to think I might publish some day. Gradually, I tried several publishers, having finished a YA fantasy, but the publishing world is so competitive now that I got used to polite rejection letters, all explaining the story had merit, but it just ‘didn’t grab them’. (I am editing it now and, having learned a lot in the meantime, I can see their point.)

Last year I was invited by a colleague from to join a charity anti-bullying project, contributing a story or some poetry, or more, and I did. (Please, if you have a minute, check out this amazing project, which started as a timid idea by some teachers/parents, and turned into a 400-page e-book with educative stories, illustrations, essays, poems, teaching materials, photos and illustrations, all by artists and educators from all around the world.) The project is called Inner Giant, and it has helped me learn so much about how to improve my writing. It also encouraged me say to myself: ‘You will regret it if you never try!’ So, with patient support from family and friends, I tried. It is all pretty much diy for now, but I am learning, improving, and saving up for some proper editing and a pro-cover for my next book. My adult novelette The Threshold followed, then my dear children’s books: Winky’s Colours, and freshly self-published The Good Pirate. Dragon Core is being edited, The Forest of Trees is in the hands of my beta readers, and some more children’s books are still packed on my bookshelf, impatiently waiting their turn.

(Inner Giant link – )

Did you have to think about the title of your book, and how did you come to choose the name?

The first thing Winky did when he woke me up that night/morning was wink and smile. His name was no problem at all. When he showed me Betty, all the colours of the world were reflected in her eyes and he loved her for it. So there was no problem with the title. Once you read the story, you will see the colours are not only about Betty. Betty’s name was kept a secret from me till the igloo scene came. So I pretty much knew it at about the same time as Winky.

What location(s) did you decide to use for your story and what were your reasons?

Well, the polar environment came natural, Winky being a penguin and all. I had no intention of putting him in a zoo, because, as educational as they are, I prefer it when children learn about animals in their natural habitat. Once I was there, I knew how much I would miss colours if I lived there (not to mention the problem I’d have with the cold there;). Winky and I being soulmates, he missed colours too. His journey developed logically… but if I tell you more, I will be spoiling the story.

Tell us – what is your book about?

The plot is based on a little penguin who leaves his home in search for some colours. He goes through a huge adventure, meets a seal, a polar bear cub, an orca whale, until he stumbles onto some colours, but not in the way he was hoping. An ecological disaster puts his life in danger, but he is rescued by a nice lady and Betty. There, told you too much already! It’s about going after your dream, daring to change your life, but not letting go of friends, love or family in the process! Boy, that’s some deep book, right?


What is the main theme running through your book and what does this main theme mean to you. Is it a passion in your life?

Having a dream and going for it? Friendship, love, family? Keeping your inner child alive? Hmmm… yes, absolutely all passions of mine. (Even when I am not as daring as Winky!)

What do you think makes a great writer? Do you need to be taught to write?

We are all born with something to show – some have a song in them, some a craft, some a special communicative ability or skill, some a story… Being able to find your gift, and then learning how to share it positively with the rest of the world is the best thing one can do. Great writers have this ability and skill – they share their stories and they make you think and feel. You can be taught to write better (I am still learning, oh boy, how I am learning!). You can not be taught to be a great writer. You can not be taught to be a great anything. You CAN  be encouraged, but it is up to you whether you release your wings or hide them behind your back. (Do release them;)!)

Do you have a message you want to convey with your book(s)?

Not really, at least not on a conscious level. I just write what my characters tell me to. (Fine excuse, right?)

Do you have plans to write another book(s) with the same theme(s)?

More children’s books are merely a matter of me finding time to sit down and edit them, because they are already lurking in my lesson plans, notes and illustrations. There is a collection of adult stories waiting to be sorted and edited. My novel The Forest of Trees is truly weird, but I love it so, and plan to do my best to make it shine. I think those people in it deserve to have their story told. Oh and poetry! Hm…. Yeah, time, time…

How do you feel when you see the numbers of books on the market today and the number of self published authors increasing and everyone trying to get attention? How do you keep motivated?

With enormous difficulty and a lot of support. I whine a lot, I drown in self-pity, then I go into seclusion, then I talk too much, then I get a good/tough pep talk from my husband, a friend or a colleague (from work or in author groups – BGS, thank you)… Eventually, my characters just come over and tell me to wake up and smell some writing paper… It would probably be more difficult if I had to earn my living from writing; this way, I keep my teaching job, and writing is still more of a hobby.

But true, it is not easy when you look around. But it’s a choice – either you write or you don’t. The budgeting, competition, editing, promotion – those are all killers. But you cannot escape your characters. They don’t care about mundane stuff such as money, your weakness or vanity. They have found you and they will not take ‘no’ for an answer.

Is there is anything else you’d like to add?

Ha-ha, really? You thought I wouldn’t, after all that I’ve said. Well, I will. And it’s not going to be a thank you speech this time. Just a message for anyone reading this.

Please, read a lot. Read to others, especially to children. And read to those who’d love to but cannot any more. Tell your stories, share your gifts. And always learn. And all the good stuff you learn – teach them! Exchange that good energy.


 Contact links:


​FB BLOG – Anita’s Haven






Author Interview with Rebecca McCray

What a wonderful way for readers to get to know authors over a chat and a cuppa.  I would like to say thank you to Margaret Ann Loveday for sharing in my last blog, but now I would like to welcome Rebecca McCray, author of, the fantasy adventure, ‘The Journey of the Marked’ the first in a series of books called  ‘The Miyran Heir’.  Thank you Rebecca for taking the time to do this interview.

full_rebecca McCray

Tell me how did your book come to life?

Over the years, I played around with the concept of an advanced species, developing it, tweaking it, changing it. My story started with this species (the Miyran), though I’ve made some modifications for a better fit. From there, I decided to focus the story on individual differences and create a world where these were valued. However, every story needs conflict. The source of that was simple — persecution.

Now, you’ll likely be surprised by this given I’m writing an epic series, but I’m best described as a forced plotter. I work more effectively when I’m not constrained by an outline and that’s how I started…without a plan. Not to fear, though, as I created species and built out the world, I did start a character / species guide and map. I’ve also drafted out other necessary pieces of information (e.g. timeline of the planet, dictionary, relationships) to ensure consistency. However, at a basic level, I’m still a panster.

As I wrote book one, I was developing the rest of my series, so it took a number of years. Now I have it all mapped out… but it’s all in my head.

Did you plan to be an author? Can you explain your experience?

No, I certainly didn’t. When I was younger, I played music and wrote poetry and stories. Unfortunately, I developed an injury in my shoulder and had to stop playing piano. I was just devastated and pushed all creative endeavors out of my life. Luckily, I couldn’t maintain it. After a handful of years, I caved in to the urge of writing and started my story. Honestly, I was writing just for me. At some point, I realized others might enjoy my story and it was at that time that I focused more heavily on writing something I could publish.

Did you have to think about the title of your book, and how did you come to choose the name?

I chose the title around the time I finished drafting the story. Given that I’m writing a series, I felt it was important to distinguish between the series and book. So the titles of each relate directly to the questions that are answered as part of each. There are overarching questions about the heir to the advanced Miyran species and those questions are addressed as part of the overall series. Hence the series name, The Miyran Heir. The primary storyline of book one is what happens to the sixteen-year-old youth when they’re marked. The book tells the tale of their journey and answers that question by the end. Therefore, the name The Journey of the Marked seemed fitting.

What location(s) did you decide to use for your story and what were your reasons?

I love fantasy and I wanted to create my own world. This allowed me the freedom to craft my own species with whatever abilities I selected. However, I didn’t want to move so far from reality that readers struggled with my world. When I think of Caldot, the main city in my novel, I picture a hybrid between the old-world cobblestone streets of southern France and my home in San Francisco with multiple story structures packed into a small area.

My world is also a mix between old and new. I love the image of something so advanced as a hovering transport vessel against the storefronts of years passed.

Tell us what is your book about?

As I mentioned above, the heart of the story is valuing differences. I’ve created a world with a wide variety of species, each with unique traits and beliefs. As most are refugees from other planets, they’ve meshed into a combined culture, but each maintains cultural traditions from the past. While there are perceptions about each species, the society was built on mutual respect.

Unfortunately, a species with less than honorable intentions settled there. They have distorted and manipulated the original premise of the world to their advantage. And that’s where the conflict starts.

TMHwingsOnly rebecca

What is the main theme running through your book and what does this main theme mean to you. Is it a passion in your life?

We’re not all the same, nor will we ever be. Rather than trying to shove people into buckets where they don’t fit, I’d love to see a time when we can respect others despite our differences.

What do you think makes a great writer? Do you need to be taught to write?

Specific to fictional writing, I think you need both skill as a creative storyteller and training as a writer. Without training, someone could write an entertaining tale, but training can make the difference between an okay book and an amazing one. With that said, you can train someone who can’t tell a story and that person might never write something that touches a reader. I truly believe you need both pieces to be a great writer.

Do you have plans to write another book(s) with the same theme(s)?

The Journey of the Marked is the first book in a series, so yes, there will be others that continue the theme.

How do you feel when you see the numbers of books on the market today and the number of self published authors increasing and everyone trying to get attention? How do you keep motivated?

More and more books are published every day. The challenge becomes distinguishing a quality book from the rest. By that, I mean a book that is both well-written and entertaining. I’ve learned a lot about marketing over the last year and while the reviews confirm my book is a quality one, it’s definitely still a challenge. I simply keep looking for avenues to promote my story. The strong reviews I’ve received are helpful. Plus, I’ve also found strength among other Indie authors, which helps with motivation.

Is there is anything else you’d like to add?

I’m targeting late 2015 or early 2016 to publish The List, the second book in my series. The story grows darker in this one, but there’s still humor woven throughout. I think the direction the series takes might just surprise you, though.

Book Journey of the Marked

For more information about Rebecca: where there are more blogs and  opportunities to follow Rebecca on Social Media

Author Interview – Margaret Ann Loveday

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Margaret Ann Loveday, the author of ‘Emily’.

Welcome Margaret, thank you for taking the time to do this interview.  I have read and enjoyed ‘Emily’ and it was very touching and I have noticed that is something a lot of reader’s have said in the reviews of your book.


Tell me how did your book come to life?

The book was actually inspired by a dream; however, it was also real life events that contributed as well.  It is quite interesting how the brain gathers information and the heart emotion then when we open ourselves to allow creativity to flow, we can end up with a creative work that can be amazing!

Having worked in the field of health for many years and now as a Practitioner of Natural Medicine, I have listened to the stories of many people from different walks of life.  I have come to the conclusion that people are sad, lonely, depressed and sick because they lack love, and love is the perfect antidote for these ailments and for toxic emotions.

Did you plan to be an author? Can you explain your experience?

I describe myself as ‘a seat of your pants’ type of person!  I just go with the flow of inspiration!

I had no idea I was going to write a book, if anything it would have been wise to write a book in line with my profession.

But as heaven would have it, I woke up one morning after the most intense dream, I felt led to write it all down,  first in point form, then I elaborated with detail.  I wrote in every waking moment, at work between clients, much to my Office Manager’s frustration!  I wrote and wrote then I plotted and planned and wrote some more.

Did you have to think about the title of your book, and how did you come to choose the name?

As I wrote the story I knew instantly what the title would be, I had to call it Emily as the main character she is quite predominant; well, it is her journey after all.

I am quite interested in the origins and meaning of names and how they can impact the lives of the bearers.  Emily is a powerful, optimistic, charismatic name and these are the characteristics I needed for Emily.  Interestingly, I had given her a name, decided to name the book Emily, then I checked the meaning of Emily and was amazed that it definitely was meant to be!

What location(s) did you decide to use for your story and what were your reasons?

The book is set at different locations in Australia, but mainly on the Central Coast and mid North coast of New South Wales.  These settings just flowed as a package deal, out of my imagination.  They are places I know well, plus I added a fictional place and as it turned out, they became a perfect stage the characters could play out their journeys.

As a bonus, they became a great way to showcase Australian culture of the beach and bush that I love so much, bringing awareness of the wonderment of the natural environment, the interactions of flora and fauna and the soothing and healing effect that nature has on the soul.

Tell us what is your book about?

I believe this story will touch your heart, as Emily is a story of love’s journey, orchestrated by a series of miracles; a story of adventure, family, hopes and dreams fulfilled.  Set is an Australian beach and bush setting it encompasses the beauty of the environment and the Australian culture and way of life.

This book is very easy to read, I had this in mind because there are many people out there who find it difficult to read or concentrate.  Many readers have said to me that they usually do not read or it was the first book that they have ever read all the way through.  They were very happy when they read Emily, it actually has inspired them and given them confidence to read and they have told me that they are looking forward to the next book; that is beautiful.

I believe that this book has something to impart to the world. The power of love is not just romantic love but a most pure form of love that encompasses many aspects and has the, possibilities to heal humanity and the earth, the environment, nature everything.  That sort of Love can bring hope in a hurting world.

Big expectations, yes however, if we can touch one person at a time, it can make a difference, Mother Teresa said, If you can’t feed one hundred feed one.

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What is the main theme running through your book and what does this main theme mean to you. Is it a passion in your life?

In 2010, I was told by someone very close to me, just before he passed away, something I will never forget.  He said Margaret … love is the most important thing in life, pursue love, live in love, walk in love, and speak in love …

Through the process of writing and even promoting this book, I have found in myself that because I am focusing  on love,  giving love, spreading love and talking and writing about love, It is actually helping me to grow and walk in love even more, it’s quite a never ending and even a challenging  journey.

Every day I wake and ponder on love, and often think how this one comment, could have been the pivot that has led me to write a book and share the message of the power of love and more, I am very thankful.

I believe also that what we look upon, read about, talk about, is what we become.

What do you think makes a great writer? Do you need to be taught to write?

The techniques, and the foundation, basics of writing can be taught, but the creative force that drives these into a book is definitely a gift that cannot be taught.  I believe that everyone is born with a gift.

Through my own personal experience I believe it’s definitely a gift.  It came upon me suddenly and without warning.

I am amazed even to this day that I have written a book… I had a vivid dream, I wrote it down all in point form, the whole dream, and it just flowed.   Within that period I actually wrote down the outline of seven stories.

Do you have a message you want to convey with your book(s)?

I really didn’t have any purpose at the start of writing ‘Emily’. Not at first, it wasn’t until I was in my second or third draft that I realised the potential of what I had in my hands.  I believe it was a miracle that the message I wanted to express was woven throughout the pages, threads of love.  Messages of faith, hope and love; inspiration to capture the heart, appreciate life and believe for the impossible.

Do you have plans to write another book(s) with the same theme(s)?

Emily is my first novel, and the first in a series of novels, I hope to write. I have seven more stories I would like to develop and all of these will connect in one way or another with each other.  The main theme running through these stories will be threads of love and each will be uplifting, inspirational, and full of hope, faith and love.

I am currently working on my second novel, The Red Hat – Perceptions, which explores relationships and misconceptions carried by gossip and the negative effects that may occur and the impact upon the lives of others.  But it has more than that, it can make you cry, it can make you laugh and parts will help you to keep your fingernails trim!

There will be some characters from Emily who will turn up within the story, plus some new ones and always the threads of love will be evident.  Hopefully this story will leave the reader uplifted and inspired.

How do you feel when you see the numbers of books on the market today and the number of self published authors increasing and everyone trying to get attention? How do you keep motivated?

It would be very easy to look around at the competition and feel a whole lot of negative emotions, to become competitive, jealous, disappointed, despaired and overwhelmed,

I refuse to go there and I choose to hang onto my dream.

I also believe it is important that my motivation is right; I enjoy story telling with a mission to touch lives with powerful topics that are woven delicately throughout a fictional tale.

Reading is healthy and important, and reading about uplifting, hope-filled words and images is even more important for the heart and mind to have every day, it is definitely food for thought.

In all this, I like to encourage, as best I can, my fellow companions on this journey, other indie authors, and as we all help one another, we all succeed.

Is there is anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank all those who have bought and read my book Emily, my friends who support and encourage and those who have taken the time to review or even drop me a comment.

Thank you to fellow colleagues in the writing world who have taken the time to share their experiences and Laurence O’Bryan who started Booksgosocial and shares of his knowledge so freely and for making all this possible.

And thank you Sharyn for inviting me to share my work like this, I appreciate the opportunity.

And thanks to the Author of Love who leads and guides me and teaches me every day to, Walk in Love, Speak in Love and to Live in Love.


For more details – on ‘Emily’

Twitter: @Threads_Of_Love