Carry Me Away ~ Release Day!

Carry Me Away ~ Now Available on Amazon

Here in Australia, the first Tuesday in November is all about ‘the race that stops a nation.’

Sometime this afternoon, the historic Melbourne Cup will run and most of us who live in Melbourne are grateful for a sunny public holiday, even if we’re not into horse racing.

For me, this day is much more than a public holiday.

I chose today to release Carry Me Away because it’s the day my dad arrived in Australia, in 1950 as a post-war Greek immigrant, aged fifteen.

On that November day when his ship dropped anchor, the streets of Melbourne were deserted. Upon disembarking he wondered what kind of a ghost-town he’d rolled into. His father, (who’d arrived in Australia earlier that year) met him at the wharf and explained the people of Melbourne were enjoying a day off.

My dad’s arrival into Melbourne has always fascinated me. Displaced from all that was familiar, he stepped into what may have looked like an empty life ~ without a proper grasp on the English language, without a home to call his own, with no work experience and no opportunity for further education that he’d wished for in Greece.

My dad, Bill, (Vasili) just before he left Greece for Australia

But my dad’s story is one of triumph. Like many migrants of that era, he embraced his new identity with determination. He studied the language, he worked hard and created his own business. His roots dug deep and his Christian faith took hold. Together with my mum, they raised a family and created a full life beyond the wildest dreams of the fifteen year old boy who ran aground into an empty Melbourne-town.

Today he celebrates 69 wonderful years in Australia.

So on this day, I honour the journey that brought him home and shaped my own identity.

As an Australian author, I’m delighted to ‘land’ something of me, on this day, too. In tribute to my mum and dad and their immigrant experience, and in celebration of the many Australian stories of displacement I long to tell… it’s my pleasure to release the e-book edition of Carry Me Away, book 2 in the Blue Wren Shallows series into the wide world of fiction readers. (Print copies and Large Print copies available later this week.)

Woo Hoo!!!

Thank you to the many who’ve cheered my own author-race to this happy day. The nation may stop to watch the horses, but I will stop to give thanks for those whose stories inspire me to write… and those who choose to read them.

Happy reading,



Carry Me Away ~ Now Available on Amazon 


The Loch Ard Disaster

I have often wondered about those who lost their lives when the Loch Ard sank off the Australian coast in 1878. It’s a tragedy that continues to capture the hearts of those who visit this majestic stretch of Victoria’s coastline along the Great Ocean Road. And for a country that’s welcomed immigrants and refugees onto its shores… this is one journey that did not end well for those who dreamed of a new start in a fresh world.

Named after the the iron ship that ran aground on the reef near Port Campbell, the Loch Ard Gorge will always be remembered for the wreck that claimed the life of 52 passegers and crew… and washed ashore only two survivors on the fateful day of June 1, 1878.

Loch Ard Gorge, Australia

The history-lover in me became swept up in the Loch Ard disaster when I learned the two survivors, Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael, became full-blown celebrities in an era when social media came in the form of day old newspapers and animated drawing room discussions. Along with survival, the promise of romance wafted over their story in the hearts and minds of many who read of the incredible rescue of the orphaned English girl by the heroic Australian midshipman. Theirs would have been a romance unlike any other. And those who cheered their survival wanted to cheer for so much more.

The real Tom and Ada were not meant to enjoy a romance. Such was their fate. Much to the disappointment of Victorian era romantics, their futures never merged into happily every after. 

But I had come across the fascinating detail about those who survive a near death experience together ~ often bonding in ways similar to those who fall in love, with the same chemical responses flooding the body. So I took the buried bones of a romance already chewed by the imagination of generations past, and turned them over in my mind until Tom and Ada’s battles took on flesh and a real heartbeat. At least within my storyteller’s veins.

I played with the names of our hero and heroine, who became Tom Darley and Ada Carmichael. I changed the ship from Loch Ard to The Black Swallow, and wrote a fictional account of what may have shaped our survivors if affections had taken hold. And I set all this in the world of characters I’d already created, Shadrach and Finella, and their new home on Phillip Island.

If the real Tom and Ada could read this story inspired by their horrific entry into Australia that June night… I hope they would smile at the liberties taken …and the match I made of them.

Because now, 140 years later… my version of their romance is here for the telling.

To secure your E-book edition of Carry Me Away, please head on over to Amazon and pre-order your copy now at the early-bird price.

Happy reading,