Great reviews for Chameleon!

front cover copy
It’s been so gratifying to see all the wonderful comments people have made about Chameleon. Thanks to all those who have given me feedback. I really appreciate it.

Here are some of the comments:

‘I couldn’t put it down …’
‘The plot kept me guessing and the twists and turns enticed me to keep reading.’
‘The historical events from Africa enhanced my journey to another time and place.’
‘Well worth the read.’
‘The author deftly weaves a story from intensive research, and gives an authentic feel to the characters and situations.’
‘The book grabs the reader from the start.’
‘Intensive research gives an authentic feel to the characters and situations.’
‘I recommend Chameleon to all those who love mystery, history and romance.’
‘I recommend Chameleon to all those who love mystery, history and romance.’
‘Chameleon has many twists and turns which leave the reader guessing until the final chapters.’
‘The reader is drawn inexorably into the characters’ motivations as the book charges to an unforeseen denouement.’
‘This debut book explores complex characters in a raw way. It’s an absorbing read.’
‘This debut book is an absorbing read.’
‘Shadowed by the brutality of a war fuelled by racial tension, Chameleon’s characters act out their conflicted twisted lives.’
‘I enjoyed Chameleon immensely.’
‘I thoroughly enjoyed Chameleon … I am so impressed.’
Chameleon by Kathy Stewart

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Book Review: The Tall Man by Chloe Hooper

A friend told me how much she had enjoyed this story and I bought the digital version on her recommendation. I wasn’t disappointed. For those who aren’t familiar with the events, this book details the tragic case involving Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley and Aboriginal man Cameron Doomadgee. After Doomadgee’s arrest by Hurley on Palm Island off Australia’s east coast, he is locked up in the island prison and later found dead. Hurley is deemed to be responsible and ordered to stand trial for Doomadgee’s death. Chloe Hooper captures the sultry and sometimes sordid conditions on Palm Island in vivid detail. Without judgement, Hooper lays down the facts of the case and evokes mental pictures of the personalities involved. I felt myself drawn inexorably into the human tragedy as the story unfolded. I guarantee that you will be moved by this book and that it will make you think. A riveting read.
Available on Amazon:

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Taser or tazer?

Have you ever wondered whether it should be taser or tazer? At first appearance it looks like this could be one of those differences in the spelling of English in different regions of the world, but it’s not.
TASER is actually an acronym and it stands for Thomas A Swift’s Electronic Rifle, so if you see it spelled as tazer, it’s completely wrong.

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Book Review: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Jessie Cole

I heard author Jessie Cole speak at the 2013 Literati on the Gold Coast and bought the ebook version of her book on the strength of what she had said.

At first I was afraid the subject matter might be too heavy for me, but it wasn’t. To explain, Jessie’s book begins with her main character, Vince, finding a young woman carrying her dead baby on the road outside his house after she has flipped and rolled her car.

A collector of all things injured, soft-hearted Vince extends a helping hand and thereby becomes embroiled in the complicated and mysterious life of Rachel, the young mother of the dead baby.

I read this book in one night, unable to put it down. From the first page to the last I just HAD to know what happened next.
Jessie has been the recipient of a number of residencies and it’s not hard to see why.

A gripping tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Title: Darkness on the Edge of Town
Author: Jessie Cole
Publisher: Fourth Estate
ISBN: 9780730493853

Available from amongst others.

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Book Review: Sex, Lies & Bonsai by Lisa Walker

I chuckled my way through Lisa Walker’s latest book, Sex, Lies & Bonsai, and I’m sure most people will too. I bought the book after listening to Lisa speak at the 2013 Literati on the Gold Coast. Imagine being the daughter of a world-famous surfer and being too afraid to go into the water, let alone surf. Edie, the star of Lisa’s story, is a pale-skinned redhead in a coastal town filled with bronzed surfers. She is also a poet and graphic designer, but after a love affair ends badly, she relocates to the town where she grew up and secures a job at the local university drawing crab larvae, and turns her hand to writing erotica rather than poetry, with hilarious and sometimes disastrous consequences. Lisa has crafted a clever, funny story with likeable characters and I can’t wait for her next one.

Title: Sex, Lies & Bonsai
Author: Lisa Walker
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780730496793

Available from amongst others.


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Book Review: Three Crooked Kings by Matthew Condon

I heard Matthew Condon speak at Literati on the Gold Coast in May this year and was so impressed by his talk that I bought his latest book, Three Crooked Kings. For those who don’t know Queensland’s history, this book is about the lives of the key figures in the Queensland Police Force from the 1950s to the 1970s and the corruption that was endemic in the force during that time, eventually culminating in the Fitzgerald Enquiry. Three Crooked Kings stops short of the enquiry, which will be dealt with in a sequel, All Fall Down.

Matthew was fortunate to have access to the diaries of one of the key players, Terry Lewis, who eventually became Police Commissioner and is now in his eighties. It is also a credit to Matthew that no one has sued him, and this appears to be because of the fair and balanced way he has reported these issues.

The book starts with the shocking death of prostitute and ‘madam’, Shirley Brifman, in what appears to be a murder through a forced drug overdose.

Matthew has done extensive research, interviewing vast numbers of people from policemen to bartenders. Where there is an accusation, if possible, Matthew has given the accused a right of redress.

In telling this story, he has employed all the techniques of good storytelling, creating a fascinating tale told in a thoroughly readable style, a testament to Matthew’s many years as an award-winning newspaper journalist and the author of many books.

I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, All Fall Down, and I thoroughly recommend Three Crooked Kings.

Title: Three Crooked Kings
Author: Matthew Condon
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
ISBN: 9780702249112 (epub)

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Canvas or canvass?

These two spellings are often confused, but they mean quite different things.

Canvas means a tough material and it was often used to make tents and to cover deck chairs, as in:

During the Second World War, soldiers were often housed in tents made from canvas.

The verb canvass means to campaign, to electioneer, to drum up support or to solicit votes, as in:

The politician visited most of the homes in his electorate as he tried to canvass support for his re-election.

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Interment or internment?

These words are so similar in spelling and yet their meaning is quite different.
Interment means burial, committal, funeral or entombment, as in:
During war, soldiers who have died on the battlefield are often given a hurried interment.
Internment means imprisonment, confinement, captivity, custody, incarceration, detention, as in:
Prisoners of war can often be subjected to a lengthy internment.

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An Inspiring Read

ebook flat cover copy
In Coppin’ the Chemo, Frances Bolton gives us a unique and optimistic view into what it is like to be diagnosed with cancer and how to tackle the long battle that ensues. If you know someone who has recently been diagnosed with this illness, this book will provide them with hope and the tools they will need to fight the battle of their lives.
May is Cancer Council month and a time for us all to reflect on an illness that is likely to directly affect one in four of us during our lifetime. That’s high odds.
Here are some excerpts from Frances’ book:
‘Sitting in the rainforest, my mind lost in cascades, the world was wet … I drew healthy damp oxygen into my lungs, wondering how on earth I could possibly have cancer on such a lovely, perfectly damp day in such a lovely, perfectly damp spot. I thought back to that awful wet and windy day in July, when I was told by a nurse with a deadpan expression that I definitely had IT. It was my daughter who cried, not I. I was overcome by a strange sensation as I put my arm around her. I realised, in my busy life, that now could be my Down Time. I had a family who loved me, so would I not be gently cared for … cushions appearing for my head and stools for my feet, as if by magic? I would be plied with hot tea and cups of soup… But how wrong could I be?’ ‘And so I arrived at Springbrook – in wet muddy weather, where, through the packing boxes and the up-ended sofa, I could see the clouds drifting towards us from the hills and smell the green of the trees. To me, it was the perfect weather and place to recuperate from a hard year. One which had been filled with waiting rooms, crossword puzzles and fellow sufferers.’ ‘To friends and fellow sufferers – including you who know someone close who is or has gone through this – may you have help in your pain and tears. But also do not be afraid to laugh. Laughter is, after all, just some happy cells in your body jiggling up and down doing their aerobics – and who can argue with that? May those little happy cells exercise so cheerfully that they will push those clumped up bad ones right out of existence.’
Coppin the Chemo is available in print from
or as an ebook from

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Poky, pokey or pokie?


Have you ever wondered which of these spellings is correct? I checked a number of dictionaries and found this answer: While poky and pokey appear to be largely interchangeable, pokie has an entirely different meaning.

When poky (pokey) is used as an adjective and refers to a place, it means small or cramped: The policeman entered the poky room.

When used to describe a person, it means someone who is moving slowly or pottering or concerned with petty matters: He had a poky view of the world until he began to travel.

When used as a noun, poky can also mean a prison, although the Macquarie dictionary says that the usual spelling for this sense of the word would be pokey and not poky: The drunk man spent a night in the pokey.

Pokie, on the other hand, is a noun, a slang word for a poker machine in Australia: The gambler was addicted to playing the pokies.

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