Time to vote for your favourite stories and poems.
Cindy is a multi-award-winning author of two novels set in Iran, USA and Australia. Cindy has been a teacher, free-lance writer and tour guide in Sydney and Turkey. She lived in Turkey for two years and still speaks the language. Her latest novel, an historical romance, Favourite of the Harem takes us into the harem of the Topkapı Palace of Istanbul in 1518. A prince saves a slave girl from drowning and defying convention he falls in love with her… It’s currently with a publisher. Check out her website www.cindydavies.com.au for lots of photos and information
Cindy’s novel The Afghan Wife (Odyssey Books in 2017) is set in Iran during the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Afghan woman, Zahra. and her cousin, Firzun, become involved in a plot to overthrow the new regime. Then widow Zahra falls in love with wealthy charismatic Karim. The book’s sequel The Revolutionary’s Cousin (2019) follows Zahra and her young son to a migrant hostel in Wollongong Australia, but she cannot escape her dangerous past in Iran. In the US Karim becomes involved with some shady characters while desperately wanting to reunite with Zahra, miles away across the Pacific Ocean.
Cindy was thrilled to add first place in the 2021 NSW Society of Women Writers national short story competition to her list of achievements.
She was also awarded a ten-week writer’s residency in the UK which she’ll take up in 2023.
To publicise her novels, Cindy has a full calendar of talks and presentations about Iran for 2022. She loves the novels of the Brontë and also presents PowerPoint talks about their writing and their lives.
Helen draws inspiration from her experiences as a traveller, teacher, movie extra and resident of Reims in the Champagne region of France, Winnipeg on the Canadian prairies and Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
See more about Helen and order her books at: www.helenlyne.com.au
In June 2021, Ginninderra Press published a collection of her short stories entitled
Love, Disappointment and Other Joys of Life.
These are a few of the thirty-one stories. A dying woman is taken surfing by her carer. A young Australian traveller receives a marriage proposal at an oasis in Algeria. A businessman interviews a job-seeker who bullied him when they were at school. A student inspires a teacher to leave her abusive husband. A grandmother-to-be rejoices in her first one-night stand. Helen’s protagonists range in age from adolescence to atrophy. With ingenuity, resilience and bloody-mindedness they kick over the rock of life’s disappointments and discover freedom, love, laughter and well-satisfied lust.
Helen also presents satirical and self-send-up poetry at open mic nights in cafes, pubs and book shops.
The monthly Bonfire open mic at Desire Books and Records in Manly is a great place to find beginning and experienced poets, story tellers and musicians. (Tone-deaf Helen is not a musician!)
Caterina, her fantom feline muse, ghost-writes her performance poems. She wrote “A Shimmy in the Shower in Chinon” for Helen to perform after their last trip to France.
Here is the first verse.
My hotel in Chinon is cheap.
No lift and the staircase is steep.
The shower’s so little
a guest there should whittle
the fat from her stomach and thighs
before she steps in, otherwise,
she’ll look like a dope
when she drops the soap
and that’s just what happened to me
and left me with no dignity
Through her writing, Felicity takes us on many thrilling adventures, from the Quarantine Station in Manly with her time-slip novel, Ghost Boy, to the dangerous magic of the court of King Arthur and Camelot. Walk in the footsteps of the infamous Morgana le Fay, and meet a commandant’s daughter on Norfolk Island, whose ill-fated love affair with a convict is mirrored in present time
(A Ring Through Time.)
Meet Felicity and find out more about her books and characters. Join us at the ‘Beans” picnic at Manly Dam.
Lovers of Camelot - it’s time to revisit the magical and dangerous Otherworld through the newly updated and revised Shalott trilogy. Five Australian teenagers venture into the unknown to rescue ‘the Lady of Shalott’ and save Camelot. What they find there will break Callie’s heart, while all of their lives will be changed forever.
Purchase on-line or at local bookshops.
Better still, come and get your copies at our Manly Dam Picnic.
We were delighted when Felicity entered our
Spill the Beans Challenges. We LOVE her writing.
We were even more delighted when she offered to join the Beans team to raise funds.
Do you love writing? Event management? Administration? Website building? Promotion?
Come volunteer with us!
‘You know my name – but you don’t know my story.’ A child wronged? Or a vengeful woman bent on destruction? Morgana le Fay, one of the most reviled characters in Arthurian legend, tells her side of what really happened in that Otherworld so long ago.
The Janna Chronicles: a six-book medieval crime series tells the story of a young woman fleeing her home to seek justice for the murder of her mother. Her search for her unknown father leads her from forest to farm, abbey, Stonehenge, and finally into the heart of the royal court at Winchester, where she becomes caught up in the deadly civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda.
Froggy is haunted by a ghost from the past – but can he trust Tad to help him unravel the mystery of what happened at the Quarantine Station so long ago? And can he win Cassie’s friendship and support as he faces his worst nightmares in order to find out what’s been hidden for so long?
Karen Hendriks's new picture book 'Home' has just been released. It is about losing a home, finding a new one but never forgetting the one you lost. The book was launched at #WindangPrimarySchool. It is inspired by her own family heritage with themes of refugees and migrants. Find out more at #DaisyLanePublishing
Robin is a founding member of Spill the Beans.
Click on Challenge 1 & 2 stories in the top banner to read her and other members' stories
Manly is the inspiration for what Lucy Elliott hopes will be her first novel.
But Lucy, (on the left of our picture, with Julie Howard and Patricia Griffen) says she’s always wanted to write a novel, though until fairly recently had written very little fiction for about 25 years.
Lucy and her husband Jeremy, an energy broker, have two children. They have lived on the Northern Beaches for seven years after moving to Sydney from London 11 years ago. ‘We were only going to stay two years,’ she says, ‘but we’ll never go back now.’
But Lucy, who has a marketing background who now does the market research for her husband’s company, is no stranger to writing. In 2008 in London she started a blog advising couples how to save money on their weddings. It was spotted by the BBC and it took off. She appeared on the BBC wedding channel and later presented Three Grand Weddings for a Freeview cable TV company for two years.
‘This was a play on the words,’ she says. ‘How to put on a wedding for £3000 - not easy.’
Wonderful days, but there were even better ones ahead.
Lucy was among about a dozen published and would-be authors at Spill the Beans first POP-UP writing event at the Harry Hartog book shop in Warringah Mall.
She was intrigued when she spotted a poster in the bookshop advertising the Northern Beaches POP UP writing event and decided to go along. She describes it as ‘a wonderful afternoon’ of writing and ideas. She was especially delighted when she won one of the challenges.
You can join us 3...2..1 ...come write with us .
Picture the scene a small end terraced house, two rooms downstairs. The kitchen with a gas ring sat on the top of a board that covered the bath under the window, (yes that's right a bath in the kitchen with a board on top as a worktop). It also had an open fire and Yorkshire range for all the cooking and the gas ring for boiling the kettle for a cuppa, mum's favourite drink.
There was a table and a radio. The storage was cupboard space, a pantry and a lobby for all dad's trantlements as he called them. Then there was the front room with sofa, a piano and a large table. A staircase off, leading to three bedrooms - Mum and Dad's, Mark my eldest brother's and the other I shared with my youngest brother.
Outside was a yard, a toilet and a coal house. The house was very cold in winter with frost on the inside of the windows. The year was 1964 Mark was 9, I was 8 and Chris was 2 .
With Mum and Dad both being blind, things used to get pretty funny at Christmas. The house was decorated with home made paper trimmings, an artificial tree that was way past its sell-by date, and Christmas lantern lights - only half working.
My Aunty Nora told my dad she was getting him a bird for Christmas, so dad didn't order a capon from the butcher. Christmas Eve arrives and dad's got his roasting tray and put in the fat for cooking and may I say even more on the table and down his front.
Aunty Nora arrived with the bird and to dad's dismay it was a budgie in a cage. Dad was gobsmacked! The budgie was in trauma when he saw a box of Paxo and a roasting tray. Panic set in quick and in his Yorkshire twang dad said 'Nah then arr Dan get thi shoys on an tec mi up roord to Len's and see if he as owt left.'
So off we set. Len was just closing as we got there. Len said 'what's up wi thi Jim, that looks like thars lost a Bob and found a tanner' (slang for a shilling and a sixpence). Dad said 'Are Nora said she was gerrint bird for Christmas an she brought us a flamin' budgie as tha gor owt left'. Luckily he had a turkey that was to serve 12, that hadn't been collected so Len gave it to Dad, free of charge. It was massive. He had to cut the legs off to get it in the roasting tin and cook those separately. Well we had the best Christmas ever. Our presents weren't expensive but we loved them. We were eating turkey every meal for a week but it was wonderful. Myself and my brothers were loved by two wonderful parents and I wouldn't have changed it one iota.
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