Flash Fiction: Timothy’s close call, a 270-word-short-story

I’m not sure where this story came from. I was sitting in front of my computer thinking about rose petals floating on water, for no particular reason, then they turned into leaves and so this story began.

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Timothy sat upon his raft made of gum leaves floating on top of the seemingly endless stretch of brown water. Every ripple on the water’s surface threatened to submerge him.

Jennifer loved jumping in puddles and she could see a beautiful long and muddy one up ahead. She raced with her dog Pippin and splish, splashed, sploshed up and down until she was drenched and gasping for breath.

Suddenly Timothy was flying through the air clinging to his raft. The last thing had seen before he found himself air born was a giant human girl covered in pink thundering towards him.

Jennifer squealed in joy.

Timothy screamed in fear.

Pippin felt a tiny pinprick between his shoulder blades, he thought nothing of it and returned to chasing Jennifer with glee.

* * *

When Timothy regained consciousness he was in some sort of warm musky yellow forest. He promptly passed out again.

* * *

When Timothy regained consciousness again, he struggled to comprehend where he was, until he saw the pink clothed giant human girl above him. Terrified he started to run. He kept running until he was falling. He’d run right off the edge of the warm musky yellow forest that he’d now registered was in fact a dog.

* * *

When Timothy regained consciousness again, he thanked the universe that he’d been born an elf giving him a nearly indestructible body.

It was a long and slow trek from the human domain to his magically protected part of the bush lands. On the way he recounted tale to every fairy and elf he came across. He Vowed never to stray that close to humans again.

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Review: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

13552764“There will come a day when a thousand Illegals descend on your detention centres. Boomers will breach the walls. Skychangers will send lightning to strike you all down from above, and Rumblers will open the earth to swallow you up from below. . . . And when that day comes, Justin Connor, think of me.”

Ashala Wolf has been captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose. A man who is intent on destroying Ashala’s Tribe — the runaway Illegals hiding in the Firstwood. Injured and vulnerable and with her Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to the machine that will pull secrets from her mind.And right beside her is Justin Connor, her betrayer, watching her every move.

Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

 * * * * *   MY  THOUGHTS   * * * * *

The last few Dystopian novels I’ve read have been let downs, so I was holding off starting this series as it is labelled a Dystopian. I saw it at my local library when I was there last and my interest in the Author’s Bio caused me to borrow it and boy am I glad I did.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is the first book in The Tribe series by Australian author Ambelin Kwaymullina. Within the first few pages on a coffee fueled Sunday morning this story had reeled me. I didn’t put it down until I finished it later that night! Devouring a book in one sitting doesn’t happen to me very often.

This story felt fresh and exciting. The story is action packed, high danger with just the right about of young romance. Ashala is amazing, in fact so are all the Tribe members and Ashala’s connection to natural world is truly beautiful.

I think the dystopian world, set 300+ years into our future, that Ambelin Kwaymullina has created is brilliant and enthralling. I love the terrifyingly possible way the earth was destroyed by our toxic behaviors and the way humans have evolved because of it. In this future earth there isn’t enough humans left to be concerned with the colour of someone skin, but as we humans are horrible creatures who fear anything different from ourselves, the future government hunts down anyone showing any signs of extraordinary abilities; Ashala and her tribe all have these extraordinary abilities.

Thought-out this story we see the world as Ashala sees it. We meet allies and enemies and experience some vivid dreaming scenes and painful memories as she does.

While I was really enjoying the first half of the book, there was a twist half way though that I didn’t see coming that for me turned the second half of the book into a frenzy. I was running a mad race with myself to find out how the book ended.

Ambelin Kwaymullina writing flows beautifully and is filled with powerful energy. This book was a real pleasure to read. I’m off to get my hands on book number two!star.5

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Ambelin KwaymullinaAmbelin Kwaymullina loves reading sci-fi/fantasy books, and has wanted to write a novel since she was six years old. She comes from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. When not writing or reading she teaches law, illustrates picture books, and hangs out with her dogs.  Links: Website | Goodreads | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Book Depository

Bookish Babble: Y16.W11

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Reading Moore and Reppion’s adaption of The Complete Alice in Wonderland last week got me in the mood for a Wonderland themed Babble.

Haha that sounds like me!

My favorite Lewis Carroll Quotes:
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“I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.”
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“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”
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“She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).”
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I’ve never seen the matrix, but am thinking now that maybe I should watch it LOL.

Until Next Time 🙂 Enjoy Your Shelves 🙂

Review: The Complete Alice in Wonderland by Carroll adapted by Moore & Reppion

Take one politely stubborn and opinionated young girl. Add an overactive imagination. Shake in a heavy mix of puzzling and bizarre guides. Reduce all morals and lessons to the nonsensical degree and send it all on a journey to nowhere…

These are the ingredients that Lewis Carroll combined to create a fairy tale unlike any another. Dynamite is proud to present for all ages The Complete Alice in Wonderland; the most vivid adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s genre bursting tale of young Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. It contains Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and the LOST chapter form Looking Glass “The Wasp in a Wig!”

Join Alice on her whimsical journey down the rabbit hole. From her initial meeting with the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to her final dinner party with the entire (and outrageous) Through the Looking Glass cast, every moment of Alice’s adventures in that astonishing landscape is captured in gorgeous detail. With old favorites like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter joined now by a long-forgotten Carroll creation, The Wasp, in one of the book’s latter chapters, children and adults alike can rediscover the complete Alice tale and fall in love with Wonderland all over again!Alice 1Published on the 19th April 2016, The Complete Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll adapted by Leah Moore and John Reppion, illustrated by Erica Awano. GOODREADS

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I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for a an honest review, THANK YOU.Alice 3

 * * *  MY  THOUGHTS * * *

Recap: Family Road Trip

This way to adventure signMy husband Shane, our Son Riley and I traveled 9865 kilometers (6130 miles) in 38 days, living out of our Toyota Landcrusier 80 series 4WD, trekking to the tip of Australia. We did this trip back in July–August 2015 and I’m only now getting to sit down and go though the journal I wrote each day.

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We had planned this trip for three years and pored our hearts and wages into it. Before this trip the furthest Riley had traveled in a vehicle was to Narrabri once and with plenty of rest stops that was only a eight hour trip. Riley proved to be a really great traveler, bar kicking the passages seat regularly and a really great camper. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself and flourish in the new and constantly changing environments.

On the first day we had planned on leaving at 3am, but due to satellite phone collection issues we didn’t leave to 11am. This meant that we finished the days driving in the dark. It dawned on me as we were heading out of Lake Macquarie that I had only driven the cruiser four times; once when we first bought it, twice to work (it was practically stock standard back then) and once again when we moved house. It was at this point that I started to freak out about how many kilometers on this trip I would be driving. I had a panic attack later that night when a Road Train was up my ass thundering down the road on the way to Moree. I ended up having to pull off the road, let him pass and then try to calm down. There were many times on the trip where Road Trains caused me extreme stress. In the end Shane did most of the long haul driving.

By the end of day nine Shane had chucked a major tantrum and wanted to dump the roof top tent on the side of the road and buy a camper. Shane and my father are currently building a camper to use on our next trip. Shane ended up fed up with having to pack up camp every time we wanted to go for a drive, something I had pointed out might be problem when we were planning the trip, but he had been adamant that he didn’t want to tow on the tracks we were going to drive.

Earlier on in the trip I decided that kangaroos and cattle are two of the stupidest creatures alive. The roos stop, stare at you, then run right towards your vehicle and some of the cattle are not much better. They are both cute as buttons, but oh so stupid.

We spent more on food and accommodation than expected, but less on fuel, so it all sort of balanced out. All up we burnt through 1686.11 litres of diesel in 9865 kilometers. That’s, 17.09 litres per 100KM. She weighted around three tonne fully loaded so we couldn’t really expect any better than that. The Landcruiser did really well for a 23-year-old vehicle; other than the passenger side mirror falling off on the road to Lorella, the rear number plate falling off on the Development road and the alternator playing up towards the end, she was golden. Oh what a feeling, TOYOTA! I actually had an intense dislike for this vehicle before this road trip, but I fell in love with her for her strength and capabilities on the red dirt tracks of outback Australia.Crusier Collage

We made it through The Old Telegraph Track and The Frenchmens Track no worries. But The Creb Track (Cains regional electricity board track) beat us, as it was just too wet. The Creb also beat two other vehicles ahead of us on the track when they rolled over. We were having fun slipping and sliding around until the Nissan Patrol in front of us popped a Tyre off of its rim. As the boys were rectifying that problem, two dirt bike riders came through and warned us of the rolled vehicles up ahead blocking the track. We turned back. The Creb had only reopened the week before we attempted to do it and it was officially shut the day after we were there.

Riley the farm boyRiley enjoyed a road side tractor and farming equipment display in Ilfracombe more than anything else on the trip.

Shane and I enjoyed Longreach’s Qantas Museum and Stockmans Hall of Fame but wasn’t all that entertaining for then 2-year-old Riley.

Lorella Springs was stunning and our week there wasn’t enough. We hope to go back in 2018 for three weeks. Riley’s first time in a hot spring (luke warm) was at Lorella and he was fascinated by the fact that we were in the water and surrounded by bush. Previous to this he’d only been swimming in our local council pool or at a beach.

Riley went on his first ever boat ride when we went for a gorge cruise in Lawn Hill National Park. He then went for his 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th boat ride on the ferry’s to and from the mainland to Thursday Island and Horn Island. The tour we did of Thursday and Horn focused on the WW2 and was really quite fascinating. Considering we were in and out of a bus all day Riley behaved really well.

Whether it was little kids trying to copy him swinging from a handrail, grandparents missing their grandchildren wanting to talk kiddlet, or fellow passengers playing peek a boo over the seats on boats and buses Riley managed to make new friends young and old wherever we went.

We did the Tip of Australia walk and took “the photo”.The Tip Photo

We had three vehicles in our convoy on the Creb and picked up a fourth, two Belgians way out of their league. I was getting really anxious that we were going to be stuck out on the Creb. Darren had to practically tow the Belgians up every hill. it was a nightmare, I just wanted the hell out of there. I actually said at one stage “I want my mum!” because I really needed a hug, but I corrected It to “I want my Uncle and his damn lifted twin looked steroid enhanced Range Rover”. At one stage when were at a stand still Riley decided to belly flop off of the back tail gate into a massive mud wallow. i was in tears by the time we got into Cairns late that night.

For Riley the playground at Cairns Coconut Holiday Park was a close second to the display in Ilfracombe for enjoyment.Coconut Playground Collage

The Lava Tubes at Undara were beautiful and fascinating for an adult, but wasn’t all the entertaining for Riley.

Riley and I got crook on the boat ride out to the Great Barrier Reef. Shane went and did a snorkel tour while Riley and I recovered from the boat ride out. We then went and did a semi sub boat tour and Riley seemed to enjoy it. He was mesmerized watching all the bubbles rushing past the windows. Thankfully the ride back to Cairns on the big boat was smoother and we didn’t get sick.

There is a lot of day to day stuff I’ve left out of this post, but all in all it was a fantastic family bonding experience. Even still I was so happy to be back home in my own bed, with a flushing toilet, hot shower and electricity. Home never looked so damn good.

We are very lucky in Australia to have such a diverse and beautiful country, one in which I intent to explore more thoroughly with my family.

Bookish Babble: Y16.W10

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I was checking up on series that I’m waiting on the next books in > which took me the The Soul Thief and this quote I liked from it > riley scottwhich lead me into making this weeks babble about wizards.

The Wizards Edition:

Wizard. Noun. (in legends and fairy tales) a man who has magical powers. Also a help feature of a software package that automates complex tasks by asking the user a series of easy-to-answer questions.

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What is a wizard’s favorite subject in school?

Spelling.

What do you call two wizards who live together?

Broom-mates.

I knew when I typed in Wizard Meme I’d get some Harry Potter memes. I thought there would be funny non-Harry ones as well. The best ones were the Harry ones, bar old mate on the computer above.

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You totally heard Katy Perry singing that in your head didn’t you – I know I did.

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Yep, ’bout sums it up.

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I hadn’t ever thought about that! How come the twins never noticed Peter Pettigrew before? Hmmmm almost worth a tweet to Queen Rowling.

Until Next Time 🙂 Enjoy Your Shelves 🙂

Newcastle Writers Festival

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The weekend just passed was the fourth annual Newcastle Writers Festival at which I volunteered all day Saturday and Sunday. It was a tiring, yet extremely rewarding experience. I met some really lovely people and even got to listen in on some really brilliant sessions.

The highlight for me was seeing all the festival goers friendly smiling faces AND!!!! a YA@NWF16 session on Sunday afternoon at the Newcastle Playhouse. The State of Play for YA in which industry insiders Jennifer Dougherty (Allen & Unwin), Stephanie Speight (Text Publishing) and Zoe Walton (Penguin Random House) discussed with Host Gerry Bobsien (Author, Surf Ache) the ins and outs of what is happening in Aussie YA at the moment. The ladies bounced off each other beautifully. It was a fun, fast pace, informative and fantastic session. I’ve purchased a ticket to the TeenCon Panel at the Sydney Writers Festival on the 22nd May – so it’ll be interesting to see how they compare.

Every session I stuck my head in at NWF16 seemed fantastic and there were some really inspirational authors on show. From what I heard from other volunteers and festival goers this was the norm among all the festival sessions – enjoyable, entertaining and informative. Happy little Novocastrians all round.

Looking forward to next year! which I am sure will keep up this years growth and be bigger and better again.

Newcastle Writers Festival Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram

Sydney Writers Festival Links: WebsiteTwitter

Review: Race Girl by Leigh Hutton

IMG_4324Fresh on the heels of Michelle Payne’s historic Melbourne Cup win, comes a blockbuster Australian story about a Queensland girl and the ‘race that stops a nation’ . . .

Tully Athens has always dreamed of following in the footsteps of her hero Michelle Payne. Of living up to the Athens name and becoming the third generation of women from her family to rule the track. But Tully’s never been sure she’s got the nerve, and when her mother is killed in a horse racing accident, her whole world is shattered.

Six months later, in the heat of a Queensland summer, sixteen-year-old Tully is ready to face her fears. But getting back in the saddle leads to a whole lot more than she bargained for, with an out of control crush on the boy from their rival thoroughbred farm – the gorgeous but cocky larrikin Brandon Weston – and a forgotten filly with stardom in her eyes . . .

When faced with the most difficult decision of her life, will Tully choose to train and race her new filly in Melbourne? Or will she sacrifice it all to fight for love on the land that feeds her soul?

It’s only when tragedy rips everything from her that Tully finds a strength and courage she never knew she had, in this action-packed novel of passion, adventure and determination.

RACE GIRL is the highly anticipated third book in The Go Girls Chronicles – bestselling stories of gutsy girls in action sports, by Leigh Hutton!

*A PORTION OF EVERY #RaceGirl book sold goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, and to horse-welfare charity, Equine Action Qld*

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MY THOUGHTS:  First up, Thank you very much to Leigh for the review copy :-).

Leigh has a knack for making you feel like you are there amongst it, in the middle of the action with her characters. The on track descriptions in this book are brilliant – you really do feel as if you are riding the horses – I could give five stars just for the Race Scenes. You find yourself tearing through the words, like a horse tearing up the turf as it thunders down the track.

We meet Tully Athens out on her family’s farm in rural Queensland. After the tragic death of Tully’s mother in a horse racing accident the family’s farm has fallen on hard times and is wasting away. I found Tully immediately likeable. The then Fifteen-year-old is struggling to cope with her mother’s death. She is afraid to get back on a horse after the accident, but her soul is missing riding as much as it is missing her mother. After finally getting the courage to mount up again she finds herself riding, then racing side by side with a mysterious “hot” boy who can really ride. The fun begins when she finds out the stranger is in fact Brandon Weston the son of her families biggest rival. Ah forbidden love my favorite.

This the third installment of the Go Girl Chronicles doesn’t disappoint, as with the previous two books we get; drama, action, romance, a strong female protagonist, beautiful horses, studly men, lessons learnt, dreams followed and inner strength found.

There are even nods to Jump Girl, Rev Girl and next up, Surf Girl – cracked me up, especially when Clover pops up in the same hospital room as Tully.

We go on to see Tully develop into a loving and caring, yet strong and determined young woman of eighteen. We see her fight for the things she loves and make her mark on the world.

There is a lot of story crammed into this book, but Leigh has managed to keep it all fast paced and flowing well. I only wish we could have got to spend more time seeing Brandon and Tully’s love develop.

The last quarter of this book is a whirl wind of twists and turns and fast racing – I can’t say much more then that without giving the best parts away *imagine me doing a cheeky wink here*.

Three cheers and FIVE STARS for Race Girl Tully.

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It’s hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes…
Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?
Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.
She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super-competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.
Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?

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SHOW JUMPING IS AN EXTREME SPORT WITH A DRESS CODE, ONE THIS GIRL DOESN’T FOLLOW . . .

Imagine being dumped by your mother as a newborn and shifted between foster homes your entire childhood. Imagine being taken in and offered hope for your future by a kind, loving show jumping socialite.

Imagine falling in love with some of the most gorgeous horses in the world, and making a life in the thrilling and glamorous sport of international show jumping.

Now imagine it all being taken away.

Ebony Scott Harris is painfully close to making her dreams a reality when the only mother she has ever known mysteriously dies. She’s forced from their home to live with the gold-digging aunt, who takes her in only to ride the prized show jumpers she claims are now hers.

Teetering on the edge of a hopeless depression, Ebony is saved by the discovery of a forgotten horse nearly starved to death, and an unlikely partnership with a handsome stranger, whom she must learn to trust if she is to uncover the truth about her mother’s death and reclaim her home.

But with the evil aunt selling her best and beloved horse, a maniacal ex-coach out for revenge and more savage competitors than she can count, Ebony has a lot more at stake than proving the truth, saving her horses and jumping for gold at the World Equestrian Games . . .

JUMP GIRL is a young adult crossover novel that is clean enough for a 12+ reader and real and relatable enough for any women’s fiction fan.

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LEIGH’S LINKS > >

Website | Goodreads | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Booktopia | Book Depository | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

555A5965Leigh Hutton is a former Courier-Mail journalist, dirt bike racer and horse show jumper. Leigh was born in Canada and lives on rural property in southeast Queensland, Australia, with her husband and three young children. When she isn’t writing, managing the relocation and restoration of historic ‘Queenslander’ homes, wrangling the kids or swilling coffee, she loves to read, watch smart TV and movies, ride her motorbike and daydream about gorgeous horses. Her family spell racehorses at their property and making friends with each one is also a favourite pastime of Leigh and her children. Leigh is especially passionate about promoting the growing number of girls and women in all action and equestrian sports, and is thrilled to be drawing on her experiences to bring you the exciting novels of The Go Girls Chronicles . . .

Flash Fiction: Burned, a 250-word short story

His blood called to my blood like a magnetic current. No matter how much I tried to fight, I couldn’t escape his pull. My body moved towards him without my permission. My chest felt tight and my heart raced as if trying to explode out of my chest.

I stood in front of him shacking slightly as he surveyed my nightdress with his shining golden eyes.

He was a strong and powerful delantie, blessed with earthly powers far superior to any other being in existence and still young at 240 years. I was an ordinary 24-year-old human female.

He gave me a look that was dark and deep with desire and I knew the pure bliss that was to follow. But I wasn’t going to make it out of the night’s visit unscathed, I never did.

The more we were together, the more I burned for him when we were apart. I was terrified of the consequences of our union, a union I’d only ever known to end in death, usually for the human when their body was shredded by the earth power realised by the delantie in the heat of the moment.

I woke up the next morning, naked and alone, feeling even more hollow then the time before. But I had made it through. I knew that the burning need to be with him would begin building again. I knew that he would appear again and so the cycle would continue until he had burned me up completely.