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Claim your little bit of romance reading by subscribing my weekly newsletter over at http://www.melhammond.com where I’ll be posting updates on my latest project, Around Australia in 8 Romances.

The first three chapters of Coming Home, set on North Queensland’s most beautiful island, Magnet Island, is yours for joining (as soon as I learn how to upload it) and I’ll be looking for feedback. For those of you who have already subscribed, don’t worry, I will make sure you’re included.

The official launch for Coming Home is June, 2016, and a free copy will be my thank you to you for your contribution and support.

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KABOOM

 

A Cracker & Gilly Mystery

Outline

When Cracker and his friends, Trann and Bone, discover an old cache of fireworks in Aunt Marion’s shed they immediately set about detonating them and making as many big bangs as they can…and in their excitement they make a bang that can be heard all the way to the Bay. Immediately they know they are in trouble but what can they do? Hiding the damage, especially when what they’ve blown up is not only Aunt Marion’s jetty but several nearby oyster leases as well, is impossible and the best they can hope for is Aunt Marion’s understanding and if they’re lucky, her forgiveness. It may take them awhile but they may even be able to jimmy up a new jetty without too much trouble…well maybe…

Sitting amidst the debris of their explosion the boys are so engrossed in their design plans for a new jetty they fail to hear an approaching boat and the red faced anger of the man at the helm is more explosive than the fireworks they had set off. In fact, the man’s anger seems extreme considering it’s not his jetty they blew to smitherines. But with dawning horror they realize that he may very well be the owner of the oyster leases.

They wait for him to disembark and march them up to Aunt Marion and demand all kinds of adult explanations but instead he stays in his boat and when he’s finished his tirade – one the boys know they deserve – he guns his boat and zooms off…and it’s only after he is gone that his parting words sink in. Tell that crazy old hag that if she thinks she can intimidate him then she can think again. It will take more than a bunch of scrawny kids with a bucket of two-bit fireworks to scare the Great Exploder…and to tell their crazy aunt if she opens her big mouth then he will shut her up once and for all.

Gilly and Steph find the boys sitting on the riverbank looking more than a little disconsolate. And as usual it is the girls who take charge. They lead the way back to the shed where the boys found the fireworks and discover a treasure trove of paraphilia, and the boys immediately become engrossed in all the bits and pieces of interesting stuff in the shed, half of which they haven’t got a clue what to do with, but know their parents would call antiques.

The mystery…

Gilly isn’t interested in the gadgets and gizmos the boys have found. Her gaze goes immediately to the bunch of old newspapers and Woman’s Weekly’s from the 1970s. As she scans the collection she notices they are in date order and the dates span exactly one year. But when she finds a photo wedged amongst the collection she gasps aloud and everyone stops their rummaging to see what she’s found…she is holding what looks like a faded photo of Aunt Marion and a man called Davo, the photo is in sepia, and it’s Steph who identifies what Aunt Marion is wearing…a wedding dress of the olden days variety. She explains that back in the olden days women were feminists and didn’t wear white wedding dresses…they wore other stuff…but it’s definitely a wedding photo because of the way Aunt Marion and Davo are holding hands, with the camera focusing on their hands, and the gooey looks on their faces… which was odd, because as far as the children knew Aunt Marion was their crazy old aunt of the spinster variety.

What happened that turned Aunt Marion into a hermit? And where was this mystery man, Davo? Why had their parents never mentioned him? And why had the man down at the jetty been so very very angry?

Most intriguing of all is why did The Exploder think that Aunt Marion was trying to intimidate him? Anger at the mess Cracker and his team had made was understandable but to accuse Aunt Marion of anything as ludicrous as intimidation just didn’t make any sense.

Who is the Great Exploder and why is he so angry at their Aunt

STORYLINE

There was an event in the 1970s that had something to do with a fireworks accident. Aunt Marion’s Davo turns out to be a pyro-technician and he used to choreograph fireworks shows for big events all round Australia. When he came to Bateman’s Bay to do a big show (???) he fell in love with Aunt Marion but there were also shady dealings and someone was killed in an accident when the fireworks display went horribly wrong. After the accident Davo disappeared and everyone always thought he was guilty…especially when it comes to light that a huge sum of money was stolen from the local bank at the same time as the fireworks accident.

As punishment the boys have to build a new jetty and when a fair comes to town the boys hang around the boy who helps with the fireworks display and they learn about how to choreograph a fireworks show – they also learn about the rigorous training pyro-technicians have to go through and the safety considerations. They also realize that all the interesting gizmos and gadgets in Aunt Marion’s shed must have belonged to Davo and his fireworks displays…

Soon they start to ask questions about how Davo could have caused such an bad accident if he was so good…and they start to wonder about the man and the boat and his crazy threats to Aunt Marion…could the man know about Aunt Marion and Davo all those years ago…and why did he warn her to stay silent? Worse, what if she was in danger…

Meanwhile, Gilly is at work on the newspapers and magazines. And slowly she pieces together a story that proves Davo’s innocence…which means the real killer is still at large…

Soon, they are asking about the Great Exploder and how he managed to get enough money together to start his oyster lease business…was it him who stole the money and blamed Davo …

The mystery deepens…

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KABOOM!!!!

A CRACKER & GILLY MYSTERY – Book 4

CHAPTER 1

Oh, Ooh, Kablooie, We’re in Trouble Now Boys

Kablooie, and from the shops side of the beach to above Pyang Avenue, from the Surf Lifesaving club to the Bowling Club, the lights went out, the stars and moon in the sky the only light to be seen.

‘Run to the beach, geez, run.’ Cracker pushed his two mates toward the beach where even the minimal light from the moon failed to pierce the night darkness.

Trann and Bone needed no persuasion and leapt in to full speed. Unfortunately, the boys hadn’t been given clear enough directions and they crashed into each other and fell to ground in a sprawling entanglement of arms and legs.

‘Stop mucking about you fatheads. We could be in serious trouble. Run that way!’ pointed Cracker, ‘Duck down when you hit the sand and hide under the lee of the beach.’

The three boys fled to the beach where they found a deep depression which would conceal them from even the most determined searchers.

After a space of three to five minutes three heads appeared and looked back at the electricity substation that, as a result of one arrow fired into the night had unexpectedly turned the boys night of adventure, by exploding in a fizzing, sizzling, spark flying nightmare.

‘Keep calm,’ Cracker ordered. “We go home and say nothing. Meet back here tomorrow at eight, ok?’

Not quite meeting each other’s gazes, the three boys hi-fived and went their separate ways.

 

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It’s thirty something degrees today and we decided to go for a swim at the local dam, Carcoar Dam for those that know the Bathurst/Orange area of NSW.

What we didn’t count on was people wanting to buy our books – and our writing courses.

The problem was our vehicle.

And me.

Before I launch my online writing courses I read that I needed three of ’em and so I’ve waited.

And procrastinated.

And missed an opportunity  to upscale my business, damn it!!

A lady named Darlene is heading around Australia with her hubby and three kids.

And they all wanna write.

And they saw my vehicle.

And.

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  1. Today, I had someone special to share a selfie with, the owner of Coffee Club, Kotara, who also happens to be my favourite niece
  2. I chatted with Coffee Club patrons about all sorts of things that reminded this writer there’s a world of stories out there to source
  3. I people watched and, being only a week till Christmas, there sure was plenty to watch…since when did store shopping bags get so fancy?
  4. The very old and very young still share a cuppa together
  5. People still give books as gifts
  6. it’s easier to say what my books are about with practice
  7. I need to get my next novel finished
  8. Kids still read
  9. Kids write
  10. The new Star Wars movie rocks (so my daughters tell me)
  11. My graphic artist is a whizz because people stopped because of his cover design
  12. i don’t look like my author pic…big mistake
  13. Never play the matching game with a six year old and expect to win…if she doesn’t beat you honestly, she’ll beguile you with her smile
  14. Make sure you have a paddock and horses to escape to when the day is done…our horse was chest high in the dam munching on water-lilies when we got home and there’s no better reminder as to why I’m a country girl at heart (and in this heat, it was tempting to join the horse in his play)
  15. Book tours remind us of our humanity…we may sell more books online but we don’t get near as much tactile pleasure out of the experience.

Thank you to Naomi, Shane and the Coffee Club gang for hosting our book signing. Your hospitality, generosity and love are much appreciated by me and my entourage (and the burger was great:))

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 find something worth reading

do something worth writing

creating something worth selling

image School’s out and it’s time to get back to the world of writing – do I hear you groan brother dear – with books to read, books to write, books to publish and books to market… image image image image image image

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At school this week one of my students told me she was up to 35,000 words of her NaNoWriMo project…do the rest of us have any excuse if a fourteen year old can achieve such a result on top of school work, assessment and end of year co-curricula activities?

My student is aiming for 50,000 words and beyond. This is her first novel. And my excuse for not writing? I’m too busy…

What’s your excuse?

 

 

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