BLURB FOR 'BOLD JOURNEY':
When Severino Agnelli and his family migrate to Australia from Italy in 1954, his son, ‘Fozzie’, meets a beautiful girl, ‘Cat’ Ginelli, on the ship, and they become friends. The Agnelli and Ginelli families love Australia, work hard and forge friendships. Cat becomes a nurse and Fozzie a journalist, but tragedy strikes when Fozzie’s brother is killed in the Vietnam War, and Fozzie spirals into depression when his dad dies. Cat pleads with him to write the book he’s wanted to write – ‘Bold Journey’.
Fozzie flies to London, writes his book, and travels to Italy where he sees Cat interviewed on television, working as a nurse during a famine in Ethiopia. Inspired by Cat, Fozzie heads to Ethiopia to report on the famine, and his passionate reports are syndicated worldwide. Cat is unavailable, but Fozzie leaves a crucifix with her colleague; one Cat made for him in 1954. Returning to London to fight for the Ethiopians, he is hospitalised with meningitis, and Cat flies from Italy to keep a secret vigil by his bedside. Fozzie recovers, and Cat leaves London to get on with her life.
Attending an International Awards ceremony, Fozzie is stunned to win an award for Humanitarian Journalism. Minutes later, Cat is awarded an honour for Exceptional Courage. Will Cat accept her award? Will she and Fozzie finally meet up? Who nominated them for their awards?
Sam Tyler is a feisty 14 year-old girl who lives in a seaside town, and becomes rebellious after the death of her father. Her mother has remarried and Sam conflicts with her stepfather, Max. When a classmate, Zoran Cepnic, is abducted, Sam forms a committee to find him, and the entire school is fired-up to help. Her stepfather helps Sam and their relationship blossoms.
Sam does some investigations of her own, wags school to visit Zoran’s parents, and sneaks out at night and finds Zoran’s watch at a bus stop where he was abducted. Excited, Sam rings the police and forms a good friendship with the leading detective.
Sam is interviewed on national television by a famous broadcaster, Martha Benson. The same day, she is approached by a weird guy on the beach. The next evening, she is also abducted and ends up in an isolated farmhouse with Zoran. He’s alive! Sam and Zoran attempt to escape by removing floorboards, but are stopped by their abductor. Will they escape? How will the police find them?
A novella about the environment,
fishing and returned soldiers
Maddie and Toby love fishing, and live in a small mill town where people are dying from ‘Mill Flu’. Keen to catch the biggest rainbow trout ever, ‘Mister Rainbow’, they disobey orders, fish in the ‘Big Pool’ and find a recluse living in a shack in the bush. Maddie falls into the big pool and almost drowns, but is saved by the recluse. Maddie becomes ill, but Toby continues to fish and finds people pumping toxic waste into the Rainbow River. He contacts the Environment Protection Authority and the police, and investigations begin.
Toby learns that the old recluse is Colonel Bolt, a former soldier who was highly-decorated during the Vietnam War, and an amazing artist who sketches pictures of his war memories. The colonel collapses near his shack, Toby finds him and arranges his transport to hospital. Finding two war medals in his shack, Toby e-mails the army and tells them of the colonel’s plight. Will the army respond?
Maddie and Toby enter one of Colonel Bolt’s sketches in an art competition, selling Mister Rainbow’s Magic Bait at a local market to earn the entry fee. Then, Toby goes missing. Desperate to find her fishing partner, Maddie calls Colonel Bolt for help. Will they find Toby alive? Will the colonel win a prize in the art competition, and will they catch Mister Rainbow?
A novella about disabilities, loyalty and courage
Blurb for 'Sheeza'
Danny Morandi lives in a large Australian country town and is bullied by a local farm boy, Kyle ‘Mad Dog’ Fletcher, because Danny has an artificial leg, wears glasses and wants a sheep dog. Danny’s best friend, Joey, defends him in a fight with the bully and they end up before the school principal.
Inspired by videos he’s seen about English sheep dogs, Danny earns money by doing odd jobs, and his parents finally agree to him having a sheep dog after some rousing fights. He purchases a female pup born with a deformed hind leg and names her Sheeza. Danny trains her to compete in the Wanganui Sheep Dog Trials and finally enters the prestigious contest. It rains during his presentation, Danny falls over and the bully’s dog deliberately interrupts his trial, but Danny pushes on. Will he finish? Will he win?
Sheeza is stolen and Danny is heart-broken. Months pass and he loses hope of finding his dog, but Joey remains positive. With the help of friends, Danny appears on talkback radio and later that night on a famous television show, ‘Tonight Live’. His search for Sheeza has caught the attention of the entire nation. People call the station and recall seeing his dog. Then, a dog matching Sheeza’s description is located outside a diner in Bundaberg, Northern Queensland. Is it Sheeza? Will Danny find his dog?
Award-winning novella about bullying
Rida Khalid is a Muslim refugee from Iran. She is bullied by two girls at school for wearing a hijab (Muslim headscarf), reading books and wearing glasses, and seeks refuge in an old man’s garden after school. Rida meets an Asian girl at school, Ky, who also loves books, but Rida soon dumps her for a gawky girl, Carmen, who teaches her about fitting in. To be accepted, Rida removes her hijab at school, but she must wear her headscarf whilst competing in the inter-school sports. Her family will attend. Rida deliberately loses the first race because Carmen says, “Only nerds do well in sports”. The sports master berates Rida for losing the race and points to Ky who’s made an extraordinary effort to get out of hospital to watch her run. Ky is battling leukaemia. Rida wins the next two races and gives her winning ribbons to Ky for good luck. Rida enters the State Athletics Championships, but two athletics clubs lodge an objection to her hijab. Rida is shocked when a retired Queens Counsel (QC) represents her at the Equal Opportunity Commission. Who is he? Will Rida win the case? Will she run in the State Championships? Will Ky beat leukaemia, and who owns the garden that Rida has used as a sanctuary?
"A DROVER'S BLANKET"
LONG-AWAITED SEQUEL TO
AWARD-WINNING NOVEL, 'GUNNEDAH HERO'
Fifteen-year-old Gunnedah ‘Gunnie’ Danson begins work at Wiralee Station, a cattle station owned by his family since 1848, and one made famous by his great-great-grandfather, Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson. Gunnie attends a clearing sale at Swenson Station where his great-great-grandmother, Molly, was born. He finds a journal she wrote in 1910 called ‘A Drover’s Blanket’, discovers a mare that’s directly related to Molly’s original horse, Dusty, and meets Molly’s brother, Artie Swenson.
A foal, the old mare, the journal and a famous painting, ‘The Wiralee Queen’, is stolen and Gunnie is shattered. Jenni Danson, a relative of Smokey’s best mate, Magic Billie, is missing in Queensland and Gunnie’s uncle, Wirra, is diagnosed with a tumor. Nothing but bad luck has happened since Gunnie arrived at Wiralee and he spirals into depression. Will he stay at Wiralee Station? Will Wirra be okay? Will they find Jenni alive during the monsoon season?
'PA JOE'S PLACE'
Boo is a seven-year-old Thai girl whose father is dying. She must leave home and travel 1700 kilometres to live in an orphanage, ‘Pa Joe’s Place’, run by a foreigner (farang). With a bag of clothes, some food and a mysterious envelope addressed to ‘Pa Joe’, she endures an adventurous train trip to Songkhla. On the way, she meets influential people who know Pa Joe, and a wise monk who gives Boo a lucky amulet. Boo settles into ‘Pa Joe’s Place’, makes friends and inspires Pa; an American Jesuit priest who has cared for Thai orphans for 50 years. She and her friends establish a successful jam-making business to make money for Pa and Boo meets Jack Ryan, an Australian farmer she admires.
Shattered by the death of her father, Boo runs from Pa Joe’s Place but is soon found by Pa and the Chief of Police. Boo has survived four life-threatening situations since she left home: a train crash, snakebite, tsunami and a fire. Suddenly she takes ill and is rushed to hospital. Will her lucky amulet help her to survive?