The four books of the Shuki series are available as ebooks and as paperbacks. 'Not a Man' is the first of the Shuki Series, followed by 'The King's Favourite.' These are quite separate stories, and can be read as stand-alone books. However, you will enjoy the third in the series, 'To Love and To Protect,' more if you have read at least one of the others. The fourth in the series is a little different, and covers Shuki's mature years, and even ranges forward a few decades. This can be read as a stand-alone book. There is no 'adult' material in this one, though there is in the earlier novels, especially the first.
The six Penwinnard Stories are about the boys of Penwinnard Boys' Home - their spirit, their occasional mischief, and their aspirations. The final one, 'Price of Survival,' will be more widely available shortly. This one is about Bob, whom we first met in 'Angel No More.'
Bob Kelly, once known as Angel, keeps himself inconspicuous. There are those who would kill him, and they are very rich and powerful men. But there is one - he doesn't want him dead - or only if he makes himself a nuisance.
Bob becomes 'Angelo.' He knows he has to be very careful.
Shuki goes in search of the family of his birth, lost so many years ago. He finds Mwai and he finds Saif, his brothers. There is also Meriam, his niece, who urgently needs a new home. This is the fourth and final of the Shuki Series – the story of a modern day eunuch.
Welfare kids have got to be tough, but Steven Vikkers is not tough. He calls himself 'soft,' though at fourteen, he has not yet decided whether or not he is gay. Gays get bashed in his neighbourhood. Being a welfare kid might not be ideal, but it is safe.
Frank has been at Penwinnard Boys' Home for four months. But now he is facing new challenges - a new school, a new place to live, and he would lose the friends he'd made at Penwinnard. He'd never really had friends before...
Escape the Volcano
on Sep. 25, 2011
An adventure story for children. Well written and entertaining.
Paying The Piper
on Feb. 03, 2013
I read 'Hamelin's Child some time ago, and was gripped by the story and the story-telling. This is the sequel.
Michael is struggling, and he has the reader totally on his side from the very beginning.
These two books are very, very good.
The Pencil Case
on April 02, 2013
‘The Pencil Case’ is a very powerful story, a story of a child and his sister, taken from parents who loved them to a place where no-one loved them. Paul’s parents were unable to provide decent housing, and sometimes he went hungry. So he was sentenced to a harsh prison for children, a place where living conditions were worse, he was always hungry, and he was routinely beaten by perverted evil women who liked to think they were ‘Brides of Christ.’ If he hadn’t refused to be confirmed as Catholic at the age of 12, he would have been taken to a different place, a place run by priests, a place where it is alleged that many suffered sexual abuse. Instead, he was beaten even more severely than usual, and taken to a different home, this time a home where the boys were treated far better.
A quote from the book:
‘Water-laden clouds blackened large expanses of grey sky and the wind cried and swept the town pavements clean of their litter the day Ern Stanley gathered up the voluminous legal file he had compiled over a month of journeying with me through time, and we drove through the gates of Dubbo airport. Later, Ern would remark that he came to associate the black day with the black story I told. Over a month of travel, listening, and observation, I had forced him to confront, full force, the ugly side of the society that fed him, and it scarred him.’
I have read the whole of this story, and also feel scarred. It is hard to stop thinking about it – so powerful. This is not a story of something a long time ago, or of a place far away. Paul is very close to my own age, I know the towns he speaks of. It is set in the fifties, an era of prosperity for Australia, and civilised values – civilised values apparently not shared by the Catholic church and its employees. The nuns separated brothers and sisters, allowed them no contact with family, deprived them of personal possessions, even of the clothes they arrived in, dressed them in poor clothes and half starved them. As if this was not enough, the poor children were repeatedly told they were scum, just as their parents were scum, and they were beaten on a regular basis.
‘The Pencil Case’ is a story that should be heard.
The Fifth Circle
on July 04, 2013
This is a story of the relationship between Alex and Sean. Each side is told with conviction. It tells of the sad and the bad, and of the abused and the abuser. It speaks of patterns repeated. I was pleased with the ending, happy that Alex managed to move on to make a life outside of that of a victim. It is something that many victims never manage.
Smoko At East Seaham
on June 21, 2014
Snack sized bites of short stories - humour, irony and a strong dose of wisdom.
Fifty Shades of Grammar
on Dec. 01, 2017
I wish this book was required reading for all authors, especially those ones who self-publish, some few of whom seem to see grammar, punctuation and spelling as of far less importance than those of us of an older generation who had the benefit of good English teachers. I have heard it said that people don’t care any more about the odd misplaced apostrophe. Some see this carelessness as not a problem. I see it as a big problem. Changing punctuation can make a sentence mean something entirely different.
Quite obviously, this author feels the same. She speaks of punctilious attention to detail, and she says, ‘A lot of this may seem like extra work. Why be so painstaking about your grammar? Why so obsessive about getting your facts right?’
and ‘That’s a judgement call that only you can make. But remember, once you hit ‘publish’, it’s all out of your hands. You do not get to take the reader by the hand and explain that you are a single mum and just didn’t have time for proofreading in between looking after the baby, or that being pernickety about apostrophes just means you’re a grammar Nazi. People are going to be reading your book without any further input from you. There are no opportunities for you to excuse anything, or explain anything, or demand special consideration. The work is going to speak for itself, and the only time you have any control over what it will say is before publication.’
The book itself is impeccable in its presentation. I recommend it.