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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Glentui Camp


Winding rapids weave their way through the hills.

A secret glade concealed by dense bush hosts a sparkling clear waterfall,
Moss grows up the ragged rock face of the cliff.

Winding rapids weave their way through the hills.

Birds chirp and flutter through the painted sky,
The valley is the heart, the rivers are the pulse.

Winding rapids weave their way through the hills.

Dewdrops sparkle, the image of diamonds,
Trees flourish and stand with elegance.

Winding rapids weave their way through the hills.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016


Caesar The War Dog
By Stephen Dando-Collins

At the kennels, Caesar the chocolate labrador doesn't look special. But Corporal Ben Fulton sees something different - an intelligent dog whose curiosity will make him an excellent sniffer dog in the Australian Army. 

On operations in Afghanistan with Ben, Caesar proves his worth, finding hidden explosives and saving the lives of the soldiers. Then, during a Taliban ambush, Caesar is separated from his master. Ben and his best mate Charlie are seriously wounded and evacuated to hospital. 

But where is Caesar? From their home in Australia, Ben and his family search for clues that might reveal whether their beloved dog is still alive and surviving Afghanistan's bitter winter cold and capture by the Taliban. 

It will be a long road home, and Caesar will face many hardships along the way, but for this brave and loyal dog, anything is possible. 

Caesar the war dog is an excellent book for anyone ages: 7-12. All about a Chocolate Labrador, (who has a horrible habit of digging up rose bushes), and his handler Ben Fulton, this book will most definitely leave you wanting more. Ben and Caesar travel to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, but when the Taliban spring an ambush, Caesar becomes separated from Ben. While Ben is evacuated to hospital, Caesar is left to own devices. Will Caesar and Ben ever be reunited again?

Operation Blue Dragon
Operation Pink Elephant
Operation Green Parrot
Operation Black Shark

Sunday, 14 February 2016



Every now and again when I find a good book, I will post it under the title of book of the week.
Each post will include:
The name and author,
The blurb,
A line from the book,
And a short review written by me.


Curse Of The Chocolate Phoenix



In the wrong hands
chocolate can be very 
dangerous indeed...

Oz and Lily have a top-secret mission -
Alba the witch has got her hands on a magical 
chocolate phoenix and is"plotting to use it for some
serious evil. With the help of an army of of rats and an
unreliable talking cat, the children must pursue her
not only across London but through time itself.

This might just be their toughest adventure yet...

My Review: The Curse Of The Chocolate Phoenix is a great book for any avid reader from the ages
9-13. It has everything a book needs, from suspense to humour. You will be taken on a magical journey alongside the SMU, a secret agency based in London, with a easy going, talking rat, and a beauty obsessed talking cat. The twins (Oz and Lily), with the help of their friend Caydon, go up against evil centuries old. Will they complete their mission? Only time will tell.

A Line From The Book:

"This is an OUTRAGE!" Demerara shrieked. "I will not be paw-cuffed like a COMMON CRIMINAL!" - Demerara, (The Talking Cat)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Wedding- A Crowns Quiver Short Story

The Wedding

As I walk up the aisle, what I am most aware of, is all the sets of eyes on me.
There is my husband-to-be and the end of the hall and their majesties in the front row, beside Rejena and Wulfric. Then there is my parents next to them, and my brothers, Connal, Travis and Alden. All the people close to me and Liam, are in the front row, everyone else, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. When I reach the altar and look into Liam’s eyes, a flood of memories come to me.

…….I stare at the maidens being courted by young, handsome noblemen jealously, how come they get to asked to dance and not me? Right now I am the only one at the table, all there is to do is stare at the billowing skirts of dancing ladies with a wistful look on my face.

Hi!” comes from behind me.
I look around into sapphire blue eyes set in a tanned-olive face, topped off with a short-cropped layer of dark-chocolaty hair. Of course he is noble, everyone who is in the room is, except the guards, and he certainly isn’t a guard. He almost looks...Regal, the Prince! …….

…….Once we finish dancing, I look into his sapphire eyes and say, “Let’s go to the gardens”  And lead him down the smooth cobblestone path. We sit amongst the roses, laughing and smiling. I hope Rejena’s getting some sleep, It’s been a late night, and she looked like the undead this morning, after yesterday. I look into Prince Liam’s eyes once more and he looks into mine. We spend the night under the stars, just me and him……..

…... We are followed out by an echo of gasps. We laugh, and smile at each other the whole way out. He places me on one of the exquisitely carved garden benches and kisses me under the stars……

……… At this moment one of the Knights pushes his way through the crowd, and takes his helmet off.
“Oralie?” Comes a familiar calm voice.
I run over to him and he swings me around in the air……..

……. I walk the cobblestone path of the stables and get swung into the air by strong arms behind me. I turn around in Liam's arms………

“I do”

The End

Monday, 25 January 2016

Exiled- (A Short Story)


Sophie woke up to semi-darkness and the smell of mould. She let her eyes adjust before standing up and looking around the windowless box of a room. All of her senses were screaming at her, telling her this wasn’t right. This wasn’t home. Although she couldn’t see the entire room, (it was lit only by an old lantern hanging from the ceiling)- she knew exactly where she was. Exile. A place designed for criminals and outcasts. In a way sophie fell into both categories:

She had never really fit in because of her high academic ability. She was level three at the academy, and she was doing level 8 work. ‘Outcast.’

The price she had to pay for her friends lives, was breaking the law. ‘Criminal.’

She was the perfect person to end up in Exile.

It seemed the Cobras knew that.

Sophie wasn’t the first of her family to end up in Exile, her Great- Great- Great- Etc Grandmother was sent there about 200 years ago. Edith’s description of the place, passed down from generation to generation, was pretty much a perfect match to the damp, mouldy rat-den Sophie found herself standing in.

Sophie’s Great- Great- Great- Etc Grandmother Edith told anyone who bothered to listen, how horrible and disgusting Exile was. She was lucky to be able to tell the tale. For the only escape from the curse that was Exile, was exactly that. If you escaped.

Edith was stuck in Exile for years before she escaped. Sophie wondered how long it would be until she did. If she did. Very few people escaped Exile. Many of them who ended up there, it was their fate to never see sunlight again. Though in saying that, not many people spent the rest of their lives in Exile, because not many people got sent there.

Sophie thought of her Great- Great- Great- Etc Grandmother.
She must have gone half crazy, all on her own with no-one to talk to, She thought.
Peering around, Sophie wondered if the skeletons slumped up against the walls ever got lonely. You know, being dead and all.
She noticed some of the skeletons expressions looked scared.
I’m with you” Sophie mumbled. She said it quietly, just in case a skeleton decided he was done with being dead and commented back. Sophie couldn’t think of anything worse.

Absent-mindly, Sophie started singing the song that her Grandmother Edith made up while in Exile, to keep her company;

Darkness is your friend,
The future you can bend,
And when all you had is gone,
Listen to my song.

Look around and see,
The things there that shouldn’t be,
For these things will give you hope,

…. And don’t forget the rope.
She whispered the last line, for it had always been a puzzle to her. Everyone thought Edith created the last line for a laugh, cause it didn’t really suit the mood of the song. Sophie didn’t think so. She didn’t know why her Grandmother wrote the last line, but she was sure of something; it wasn’t for a laugh. Sophie started to sing the first verse again, then stopped abruptly. Something was stirring in the corner. Sophie quickly glanced around the room and saw an old plank of wood. She picked it up to use in self-defence if the time called for.
“Sophie?’ A weak, but familiar voice came from the shadows.

- The leader of the rebellious group, The Cobras, had the sylon, (kind of like a  taser, except it knocks you out instantly)- pointed at Sophie’s chest. “You know, more than one shock from this can prove lethal” He said, his hand moving to the trigger, ready to shoot.
“NOOO!Yelled Declan. He jumped in front of Sophie, guarding her from the shock of the taser, just as the leader pulled the trigger. Last thing Sophie saw was Declan crumple to the ground in a heap and then thrown over the shoulder of one of the Cobras. Something cold and metal hit her over the head. She barely noticed when she hit the ground. The world went black -

She ran over and hugged the air out of him.
“Okay, okay”, He wheezed, “That’s enough, you can let go now.”
“I’m so glad you’re okay” She replied.
“So am I, if you’ve never tried getting shot by a sylon, I’ll tell you now, it takes a lot out of you.” He said.
“You didn’t have to take the shot for me” Sophie told him.
“But you’re my friend, I couldn’t just let him shoot you!” He said.
“And you’re my friend!Sophie cried, “You’ve just thrown away your life, your dreams!”
“Maybe not” He started, “Your Great- Great- Whatever-Grandmother, got out of here didn’t she?
“But that’s different,” Sophie snapped, “She was a grown adult, she had experience and she was smart. What chance do a couple of 14 year olds have for getting out of here?”
He didn’t reply
Then it hit her. If her Great- Great- Great- Etc- Grandmother escaped Exile, then maybe she left something, a clue behind that could help them escape as well. She shared her idea with Declan.
It’s a start” Declan said, “But even if she did leave a clue, how would we know when we find it?”
Sophie didn’t reply. She wasn’t listening. She was thinking about her Grandmother’s song, Could that be the clue? She wondered.
As she was deciding whether the song was the clue or not, she found herself singing it softly under her breath.
In her head, Sophie started to decode the meaning of each line.

Darkness is your friend, - Don’t be scared
The future you can bend, - You can get out of here
And when all you had is gone, - When you find yourself stuck
Listen to my song. - I will help you out

Look around and see, (Instruction)
The things there that shouldn’t be, (Instruction)
For these things will give you hope, - They are the clue

…. And don’t forget the rope

Forget the rope? Sophie didn’t know what Edith meant by that line, but she  knew it was the final clue. She decided to ignore the last line for a while and focus on what Edith was telling her to do. She let Declan in on her recent discovery and they both looked around the room for something that looked like it wasn’t supposed to be there.

.…..Look around and see,
The things there that shouldn’t be......

They searched and searched, but to their frustration and disappointment, found nothing.
“It has to be here somewhere!” Sophie cried, “It just has to be!”
Declan wasn’t listening, his attention was caught by a skeleton in the far corner of the room.

“Sophie, look” He said, eyes still riveted on the skeleton, “Shouldn’t the clothes have already rotted away by now?”

“Excuse me?” Sophie said.
“The skeleton” He said, “The skeleton’s still wearing clothing.
Indeed the skeleton was, and by the looks of his crumbling bone structure, his clothes should have rotted away about a century ago.

“Quick, we have to search the skeleton” Declan said.
He only said that one sentence aloud, but he was thinking the same thing as Sophie, It’s our only hope.

As Sophie proceeded to search the skeleton, she noticed a large pocket, partially hidden by another skeletons femur. She open it up and pulled out a yellow-stained piece of parchment.

At first glance, the paper had only a large X in the middle, but looking closer, Sophie saw an arrangement of shapes, pressed into the paper. It was as if someone had drawn something in pencil, but then rubbed it out, leaving only dents where the drawing once was.
Sophie held the parchment up to the dim lantern in the middle of the room and saw that the dents weren’t of shapes, but of letters.

“I’ve found it “ She whispered, hardly believing herself.
Declan!She yelled.

Sophie showed him the parchment.
“X marks the spot, how original” He said.

All they had to do was find an X, and that was their way out.

Sophie and Declan searched for hours before Declan finally stumbled upon an X engraved in the wall. They had only the X, but not the way out.

“Okay, I know in situations like these 90% of survival is believing you can survive” Declan started, “But our X, our only lead has let us down. My bet is we end up like those guys.” He pointed over at the skeletons.
“No, Sophie said, “We’re gonna get out, and bust those cobras. They messed with our friends, and they’re the reason why we’re here right now.  I. Won’t. Let. Them. Win.
She stamped her foot and hit something. A rope. She followed it up the wall with her eyes, until she found where it was connected. A small, almost invisible notch in the wall.

…. And don’t forget the rope.

The meaning couldn’t have been clearer. Sophie pulled the rope with all her might and a section of the wall crumbled down. A staircase led up into daylight, it was their exit out of the mouldy, windowless box they were standing in.
Their exit out of Exile.

The End

Friday, 22 January 2016

Rain Storm

The Rivers, victims of the sky's sorrow, 
burst their banks.

Trees, they flourish,
diamond droplets of water sparkle amongst the leaves.

Grass Plains transform into swamps,
each strand of green submerged in liquid.

Downpour turns to drizzle,
drizzle turn to clear skies.

The Sun, he sends his rays down to the freshly rejuvenated earth.

A bird calls in the distance, and a Butterfly flies by.

The Willow

Long, leafy vines, trail in the wind. 

Cascading waterfalls of greenery, hand down from thick, woody branches.
Scrably bark coats the old, solid trunk, the trees sheer mass far too big to ever believe it was once a sapling.
Nature revolves around the willow.

Long, leafy vines trail in the wind.