Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Ten Pound Poms

Julie, one of the characters in my Aussie medical drama novel, The Swooping Magpie, is referred to as a 'Ten Pound Pom'. While this expression was very familiar to Aussies growing up in the 60s and 70s, others might wonder what it means.

"Ten Pound Pom" is a colloquial term used to describe British people migrating to Australia after WWII. Citizens wishing to migrate could do so by paying only £10 for their ticket. The government, who had set up this Assisted Passage Migration Scheme in 1954, paid the rest. Children could travel for free.

The Assisted Passage Migration Scheme was intended to substantially increase the population of Australia and to supply workers for the country's booming industries. The Government promised employment prospects, housing and a generally better lifestyle.

However, on arrival, migrants were placed in rudimentary hostel accommodation and often, as happened to Julie's father, the expected job was not readily available.

A newly-arrived family

The scheme attracted over amillion migrants from 1945 -1972, representing the last substantial scheme for preferential migration from the British Isles to Australia.

Assisted migrants were generally obliged to remain in Australia for two years after arrival, or refund the cost of their assisted passage.

If you'd like to know more about Julie, and the other characters in The Swooping Magpie, you can buy the novel for only 99c/p New Release price at your favourite retailer HERE

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Stressful day? What you need is a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down

'A Cup of Tea, a Bex and a Good Lie Down' was an expression that became a common Australian saying post WWII when aspirin became readily available.

It came to be used in the pejorative and abbreviated form "go and take a Bex" to indicate that someone should take a more relaxed attitude to a certain subject, or to soothe a frazzled housewife.

As was Valium in the UK, Bex in Australia was referred to as "mother's little helper". Sadly though, Bex only helped in the short-term, while killing in the long-term.

In the 1960s, women routinely used Bex to get through the day. However, once it was recognised that these substances were addictive and large doses of phenacetin were resulting in kidney disease, analgesics came under government regulation in the 1970s.

An ad I recall so vividly from my childhood!

Like so many other housewives, one of my characters in The Swooping Magpie (the heroine's mum) a 1970s Aussie psychological suspense novel, is addicted to Bex. During my research I came across this Bex TV ad, that I remember so well. Watch it here.

If you'd like to learn more about Lindsay's mother and the other characters, you can buy The Swooping Magpie for only 99c/p New Release price HERE.

1970s Australian medical drama

Monday, 26 November 2018

#Aussie #short stories collection: Friends & Other Strangers

Friends & Other Strangers, the award-winning collection of Australian short stories has been republished with a beautiful new cover.  

Special PROMO price of only 99c/p at your favourite retailer:

What readers are saying about Friends & Other Strangers:

"… each story is a jewel filled with interesting and provocative characters… "

"… in stories like Santa Never Came, and Daughter of Atlas, Perrat explores the layers and complexities of an immigrant nation, of different cultures coming together under a baking sun and learning to adapt to one another … not the Australia of Crocodile Dundee, but a much more nuanced country, one the rest of the world deserves to know better … "

"… lovely collection of insights into Australia, but be warned, you'll be Googling flights when you put it down. The author captures the atmosphere of a young, vast country, with unpredictable weather and huge space"

"These stories are of the Australia that you won't find in tour guides - a still young nation still trying to blend together from the mixed ingredients of immigrants from all over the world… "

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

#Christmas #Reading Ideas!

Yes, it's that time of year again, when we ask ourselves whatever to buy for Christmas presents?

If you or your loved ones are into reading, you might find a treasure amongst these 12 Books for Christmas. And it'll be hard to stop yourself singing along to this fun video!

More details about each Xmas-special book on my author friend, Jean Gill's blog HERE!

Happy reading...

Monday, 5 November 2018

Be Careful of the Swooping Magpie!

Currently, in eastern Australia, it's crazy magpie season, with birds swooping down and injuring many humans.

The attacking bird is usually male, either gliding down onto his victim's head from behind, or divebombing the back of the neck.

Apart from protecting the young, this behaviour apparently also impresses female magpies.

Such is the swooping magpie phenomenon, it's become a popular Halloween costume!
Photo courtesy of Pam Brandy
Photo courtesy of  Carolyn Brady of Wollongong Botanical Gardens
While there may be the odd swooping magpie scene, my novel, The Swooping Magpie, is not however, about aggressive, human-attacking birds. It rather explores a young girl’s heartbreaking drama of lost innocence and deceit, amidst a scandal that shook Australia.

Photo courtesy of Camille Perrat
Following on from The Silent Kookaburra, book one in this 1970s Australian Family Drama series set mainly in Wollongong, New South Wales (but all standalones), you can purchase The Swooping Magpie at your favourite digital retailer, HERE at the new release PROMO price of only 99c/p.

Cover design by JD Smith

If you would like to read the actual true-life story that inspired The Swooping Magpie, it's all explained on the Triskele Books blog.

1970s  Wollongong Harbour. Photo from the collections of the Wollongong City Libraries and the Illawarra Historical Society
Happy Aussie reading, mate!
The Swooping Magpie:

Thursday, 18 October 2018

99c/p PROMO! #Aussie #PsychologicalSuspense Novel

I know I've been quiet of late, but my excuse, as always, is I've been working on a new book. And now I'm pleased to say that novel, The Swooping Magpie, will be published in a few days.

1970s Aussie domestic drama
Another Australian domestic drama set in the 1970s, it follows from number 1 in the series: The Silent Kookaburra.

To celebrate the release of The Swooping Magpie, the e-Book of The Silent Kookaburra will be on promotion for only 99c/p for the next few days. Get your PROMO copy now at your favourite retalier:

1970s Aussie psychological suspense

Book Description: The Swooping Magpie

The thunderclap of sexual revolution collides with the black cloud of illegitimacy.

Sixteen-year-old Lindsay Townsend is pretty and popular at school. At home, it’s a different story. Dad belts her and Mum’s either busy or battling a migraine. So when sexy school-teacher Jon Halliwell finds her irresistible, Lindsay believes life is about to change.

She’s not wrong.

Lindsay and Jon pursue their affair in secret, because if the school finds out, Jon will lose his job. If Lindsay’s dad finds out, there will be hell to pay. But when a dramatic accident turns her life upside down, Lindsay is separated from the man she loves.

Events spiral beyond her control, emotions conflicting with doubt, loneliness and fear, and Lindsay becomes enmeshed in a shocking true-life Australian scandal. The schoolyard beauty will discover the dangerous games of the adult world. Games that destroy lives.

Lindsay is forced into the toughest choice of her young life. The resulting trauma will forever burden her heart.

Reflecting the social changes of 1970s Australia, The Swooping Magpie is a chilling psychological tale of love, loss and grief, and, through collective memory, finding we are not alone.

Monday, 9 July 2018

#FrenchResistance #WWII

The French village in which I live originally inspired me for the first novel, Spirit of Lost Angels, of my French historical trilogy, The Bone Angel.

An exhibition in a museum in Saint-Martins-en-Haut, a neighbouring village, gave me the idea to base the second novel of the trilogy, Wolfsangel, around the French Resistance to the Nazi occupation during WW2.

I realised that this region, like many others in France, was a hotbed of French resistance. During my research, I was fortunate to speak with several members of the Resistance, who were only too happy to relive their days of fighting for the liberation of their country.

But for further information, I consulted both fiction and non-fiction books on the subject.

on the Triskele Books blog, here are six of my favourites

food ration lines, Lyon

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Don’t care if France wins or loses the footie?

Read a French historical trilogy instead. A sure winner!  #bethere #bereading

Need some more ideas on how to escape the soccer? This post by fellow author, Helena Halme says it all.

Friday, 6 April 2018

@JillsBookCafe's Five on Friday

Many thanks to my lovely book blogger reviewer and friend, Jill Doyle for featuring me on her blog today.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Hello Winter My Old Friend....

View from my office window

You've come to talk to me again.... as the Simon and Garfunkel song does not go!

However, the sound of silence of our snowscape does remind me of the song.

After several months of grey skies, with mostly rain and more rain, it's nice to see the snow back again .... though best admired from a window seat!

And all the more conducive to plod on with writing the latest novel, now titled The Seagull Song.