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Welcome to the Dark Side!

We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

DarkSider News for December


Lots of goodies to read over the upcoming holidays....


Ghost Writer by J.L. Addicoat was released on 13 November.

Best selling author, D'niel Jenkins, is killed in a drive-by shooting. Her husband, Detective Rafe Coburn, discover a nemisis from his past is to blame for her death. Grieving, and unable to deal with not being part of the investigation, he sells everything they owned, and moves house.

Claire Ramgarry, an aspiring writer, purchases a computer at an auction. There's something weird about the machine, and when she discovers manuscripts of her favourite series, Claire realised whose computer she's bought.

Rafe, aware of his mistake, goes in search of D'niel's computer, eventually arriving on Claire's doorstep. When she answers the door, he's amazed to see Annie, the girl he loved and left, sixteen years before.

Destiny has reunited the lovers, but can they survive the trials ahead?

Available from:

Midnight Reynolds and the Agency of Spectral Protection by Catherine Holt aka Amanda Ashby was released in September. It is Book 2 of the Midnight Reynolds series.

Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds has a huge secret—she's a spectral protector, someone who helps ghosts cross over into the afterlife. Alongside her best friend Tabitha, Midnight is busy juggling the wilds of middle school with her undercover ghost-hunting job. When mysterious and dangerous robberies start happening in their small town, all signs point to some sort of spectral manipulation, and Midnight's boss asks her to take over the investigation. Can Midnight find the culprit and stop them before the spectral energy endangers their town?

Available from:

Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols is Book 3 in the Studies in Demonology series. It is the final in the series and was released on 27 November.

Sheets of ice are spreading across the human world, ushering in an ice age as the magic drained from Demonside turns that world into a desert. Angus and reluctant warlock Terrance have defected from Vinland to the Mayan empire - a land of dark and potential magic. But the Mayans aren't offering sanctuary for free.

Nor is the world willing to stand back as Vinland attacks, and the backlash will affect all magic users.
Mage Saka has no tribe. He is now just another refugee fleeing the dying Demonside. He knows the conflict brewing now will be worse than the First Demon War. Countries are bading together - not just against Vinland, but against all magic. Where will the powerful Mayan Empire stand?

Angus might have the power to fight Vinland and the Warlock College, but the cost will be terrible. Saka is torn between helping Angus and stopping him. And Terrance would do anything for Angus, but he's terrified the man Angus is becoming, even as Saka is warming to the idea of a relationship between the three of them.

No matter what choice they make, victory will be bittersweet, and when the ash settles and the snow melts, nothing will be the same.

Available from:

The Legend of Gentlemen John by TJ Nichols is a short story that was released by Dreamspinner Press on 1 December.

Banyn, a fae, escorts the souls of children to Magh Meall, but one Christmas, he comes for a lad who isn’t quite dead, and he breaks a rule rather than wait while John fights a battle he’ll ultimately lose. So begins a long-running affair that crosses the border between life and death, the human and fae realms, and even oceans to strange countries with different gods and rules.

John Rourke renounced a religion that had no place for him and returned to the old ways. Convicted of theft, he is sentenced to transportation and suffers brutal punishment—until he escapes to live on his own terms as a bushranger. When vengeance against his tormentor consumes him and threatens his life, John finds he has only one holiday wish—to see his fae lover one last time.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar "Warmest Wishes".

Available from:

Edge of Eon by Anna Hackett is Book 1 of the Eon Warriors series and was released on 9 December.

Framed for a crime she didn't commit, a wrongly-imprisoned space captain's only chance at freedom is to abduct a fearsome alien war commander.

Sub-Captain Eve Traynor knows a suicide mission when she sees one. With deadly insectoid aliens threatening to invade Earth, the planet’s only chance of survival is to get the attention of the fierce Eon Warriors. But the Eon want nothing to do with Earth, and Eve wants nothing to do with abducting War Commander Davion Thann-Eon off his warship. But when Earth’s Space Corps threaten her sisters, Eve will do anything to keep them safe, even if it means she might not make it back.

War Commander Davion Thann-Eon is taking his first vacation in years. Dedicated to keeping the Eon Empire safe, he’s been born and bred to protect. But when he’s attacked and snatched off his very own warship, he is shocked to find himself face-to-face with a bold, tough little Terran warrior. One who both infuriates and intrigues him.

When their shuttle is attacked by the ravenous insectoid Kantos, Eve and Davion crash land on the terrifying hunter planet known as Hunter7. A planet designed to test a warrior to his limits. Now, the pair must work together to survive, caught between the planet and its dangers, the Kantos hunting them down, and their own incendiary attraction.

Available from:

Cursed by Keri Arthur is Book 2 in the Kingdoms of Earth & Air series and was released on 20 November.

Whomsoever draws the sword from the ancient seat of this land shall rule her, and they shall bring peace and prosperity to her people.

For nearly a thousand years, the firstborn son of every Cannamore king has drawn the sword, and the land and her people have indeed prospered. Princess Nyx Bel-Hannon is neither male nor firstborn, but it’s her hand that draws the sword rather than her twin brother’s. Her reward: imprisonment.

But a deep darkness now spreads across the kingdom, and her borders are threatened by creatures capable of magic powerful enough to destroy mountains and split the land asunder. Without the true heir to wield the sword, Cannamore risks annihilation. The king and crown prince want nothing more than to be permanently rid of Nyx, but cannot afford her blood on their hands. Instead, they give her to a fractious warlord in the hope he will do what they dare not.

Nyx has no intention of letting the warlord get in the way of her thirst for revenge or the need to claim her throne. But it’s a quest that may well destroy the kingdom she loves, because Nyx has been cursed by the god of war. It is her destiny to save Cannamore.

Or utterly destroy it.

Available from:

Non spec-fic titles

Not So Happily Ever After by Christina Phillips (Book 3 of British Bad Boys series) was released by Entangled Publishing on 19 November 2018.

Two years ago, I accidentally, yeah maybe on purpose, crossed that line with my best friend and it ruined everything. I haven't seen him much since.

But now he’s standing at my door.

Same lumberjack build. Same dark hair that begs my fingers to run through it. And then he gives me that half smile, and I know I’m about to agree to do something I’m going to regret.

I’ve got to spend two months with him now… and that’s not the worst part.

Each book in the British Bad Boys series is STANDALONE:
* Cinderella and the Geek
* Once Upon A Player
* Not So Happily Ever After

Read Chapter One

Available from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |  iBooks | Kobo | B&N |

The Crying Season by D.K. Hood is Book 4 in Detectives Kane and Alton series and was released by Bookouture on 18th October.

The light fades as she runs for her life, the forest now becoming quieter around her. The only noise she hears is the sound of footsteps following her... 

It’s hiking season in Black Rock Falls and the small town in Montana is flooded with visitors. But when a hiker finds a human skull on a deserted trail in the woods that surround the town, Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate. 

With no missing persons reported, Jenna has no leads. Then her team makes a shocking discovery – the body of another hiker, a young man, tied to a tree and riddled with bullets. Could the two murders be linked? 

As more bodies are found, Jenna and her deputy David Kane know that they must venture deep into the forest to find and face the killer. But nothing can prepare them for what awaits them there… 

Order links are available on D.K.'s website.

What Were You Thinking Paige Taylor by Amanda Ashby is expected to be released by Entangled Publishing on 12 November.

After her carefully ordered world imploded, Paige Taylor cracks up. On her tenth self-help book, it seemed like a good idea at the time to reinvent herself––move from Manhattan to the tiny beachside town of St. Clair––and take over the local bookstore. 

But instead of discovering her spiritual Nirvana, she’s neck-deep in a floundering business, the locals treat her like a plague victim, and her mom’s suddenly decided to visit––with no end in sight––and keeps coming home with one surprise after the next. 

Added to that pot of crazy, the one guy who sets her pulse racing has sworn off women forever. He’s got a Samsonite filled with baggage, but damn he looks good hauling it down the street. And giving her those sexy half-smiles. And tempting her to take him for a test ride.

Soon Paige discovers that reinventing herself takes more than just a change of address and a pithy quote on Instagram. She needs to face the truth about her life, and that’s something she can’t do alone.

Available from:

The Faller by Daniel de Lorne is a novella that was released on 1st December.

Being caught with another man sends Charlie Young fleeing his family to the forests of southwestern Australia to scrape together steamer-passage to the big smoke of London. But life as a timber faller isn’t easy and it’s made worse when the men he works with are brash, bigoted, and often brutal. All except Jack Tapper, who’s the kind of gentle giant that sets Charlie’s heart racing.

While the other men head into town for Christmas, it’s just Charlie and Jack and acres of forest. But trees tell no tales and a few days alone is the perfect opportunity to indulge a bourgeoning passion. When the men return and find things not as they once were, Charlie and Jack have to make the hard decisions about whether to stay where they are or run for their lives.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar "Warmest Wishes".

Available from: 

Mission: Her Security by Anna Hackett is Book 3 of the Team 52 series and was released on 13 November.

When sweet, smiling Kinsey is kidnapped by unknown forces, former SEAL and Team 52 operator Smith Creed will risk anything to get her back.

Kinsey Beck is used to life knocking her down. She escaped her past and came to Las Vegas for a new start. So what if she didn't achieve her dream of being a showgirl, instead, she now has an awesome job as logistics manager for the covert, black ops Team 52. She loves all the team...especially big, gruff mountain man Smith, even if he isn't interested in her the way she'd like. But when Kinsey is kidnapped, she finds alone and herself trapped in a deadly fight for survival...

Smith Creed is a loner who prefers his own company, his dog, and his mountain cabin. Working for Team 52 lets him use his unique skills to help ensure pieces of powerful ancient technology don't fall into the wrong hands. It also brings him in close contact with a woman he knows isn't for him--sweet, beautiful Kinsey. But when he learns she's been snatched, her life hanging in the balance, he'll tear the world apart to bring her home safely.

But rescuing Kinsey uncovers a deeper plot and a shadowy group out to destroy the world. Smith and Team 52 will be forced to make tough decisions--revolving around a dangerous, ancient artifact--and even when Kinsey is back in Smith's arms, she still isn't safe. With danger at every turn, Smith with sacrifice everything to ensure Kinsey's security, but the greatest danger of all might be to Smith's closed-off heart.

Available from:

The audio versions of the first books in the series are now available. 

Mission: Her Protection is Book 1.

When Rowan's Arctic research team pulls a strange object out of the ice in Northern Canada, things start to go wrong...very, very wrong. Rescued by a covert, black ops team, she finds herself in the powerful arms of a man with scary gold eyes. A man who vows to do everything and anything to protect her....

Dr. Rowan Schafer has learned it's best to do things herself and not depend on anyone else. Her cold, academic parents taught her that lesson. She loves the challenge of running a research base, until the day her scientists discover the object in a retreating glacier. Under attack, Rowan finds herself fighting to survive...until the mysterious Team 52 arrives. 

Former special forces Marine Lachlan Hunter's military career ended in blood and screams, until he was recruited to lead a special team. A team tasked with a top-secret mission - to secure and safeguard pieces of powerful ancient technology. Married to his job, he's done too much and seen too much to risk inflicting his demons on a woman. But when his team arrives in the Arctic, he uncovers both an unexplained artifact, and a young girl from his past, now all grown up. A woman who ignites emotions inside him like never before.

But as Team 52 heads back to their base in Nevada, other hostile forces are after the artifact. Rowan finds herself under attack, and as the bullets fly, Lachlan vows to protect her at all costs. But in the face of danger like they've never seen before, will it be enough to keep her alive.

Available from:

Mission: Her Rescue is Book 2.

When archeologist January’s plane is shot down over the Guatemalan jungle, she knows she’s being hunted for the invaluable Mayan artifacts she’s carrying. Only one man and his team can save her…the covert, black ops Team 52, and the distrusting former CIA operative who drives her crazy…

Dr. January James has a motto: live life to the fullest. A terrible incident in her past, where she lost both her mother and her innocence, taught her that. Now she spends her days on archeological digs doing the work she loves. When her team uncovers a pair of dangerous artifacts in an overgrown temple, she knows they need to be secured and safeguarded. But someone else knows about the artifacts…and will kill to get them.

Working for the CIA, Seth Lynch learned the hard way that people lie and will always stab you in the back. He has the scars to prove it. He lives for his work with Team 52—ensuring pieces of powerful ancient technology don’t fall into the wrong hands. When he learns that the feisty, independent archeologist who works his last nerve has died in a plane crash, he makes it his mission to discover who the hell is responsible.

Deep in the jungle, Seth rescues a very-much alive January and it is up to him to keep both her and the artifacts safe. Hunted from every side, their attraction is explosive and fiery, but with January’s life on the line, Seth must fight his own demons in order to rescue the woman he can no longer resist.

Available from:

A Christmas Bride by Viveka Portman was released by Escape Publishing on 20 November.

'Tis the season for Christmas reading!

A hot, historical Christmas romance about a respectable school teacher about to dedicate her life to her students, and the advent season of adventure.

London 1813

Miss Smith is dreading the festive season. With her students gone, long cold days and endless dreary nights are a glum and lonely prospect. So when she comes across a beautiful gown left behind by one of her students, she can’t help but try it on. And perhaps a walk down the street as a little Christmas gift to lift her spirits. And a small, warm drink at a local pub. No one will recognise her, and what harm could it do?

Lonely and worried about raising a daughter by himself, handsome widower Robert Carring knows he must find another wife. But having already endured one passionless marriage, he refuses to enter another. He will only marry when he finds the intelligent, spirited woman of his dreams. And then he sees her, making merry on a cold winter night.

For the first time, finding herself admired in the eyes of handsome man, Miss Smith is more determined than ever not to resign her self to a life as a spinster school matron, and makes a daring decision that will change all her Christmases forever.

Buy links available from: 

Her Outback Protector by Annie Seaton is Book 2 of Second Chance Bay series and was released on 10 December.

When new hostess, Clare Templeton, joins the adventure charter to the remote waterways of the Kimberleys as a hostess, she is in jeopardy. Don Douglas steps in to make sure that she is kept safe. But he can't risk falling for this fascinating woman…or can he?

Available from:


Unforsaken by Cassie Laelyn is Book 1 in the The Fallen Guardians series and will be released on 14 January 2019.

Hidden deep in the Snowy Mountains, lives a brotherhood of immortal Guardians, banished from the Heavens.

After centuries of exile, Head Guardian Raven can taste Hell. One wrong move could destroy his soul. When Fate assigns him a female mortal to protect, his forbidden desire becomes a distraction he can't afford. Giving in to temptation risks plummeting into the fiery pits of Hell, dragging her along with him.

Tayla Eason is on the run, escaping a horrific attack on her life. When she lands in the arms of the sexy, alluring man who saved her, the shadows of her past swiftly close in. But when Fate throws a twist, Tayla's forced to choose between saving Raven's soul or fleeing before the creatures strike again.

In an ultimate test of love, the two must battle against the almighty Fate. But will it be enough to save them both?

Pre-order from:
The Wild Rose Press (has excerpt available) |

Ruby Heart by Donna Maree Hanson is Book 1 in the Cry Havoc series and will be released on 22 December.

Paranormal Victorian steampunk fantasy, with Gothic horror and romance.

A book of manners, magic and mayhem.

Jemima Hardcastle has a sad history. After her father was murdered by a secret society of magicians, her guardian and new heir to Willow Park, Edward Huntington, packed her off to boarding school. In the four years she was there, she never saw him again until she escaped from school to a house party and there he was. He did not recognise her and he even flirted with her.

A disastrous kiss, a murder and a stolen jewel herald dire happenings. Jemima is shipped off to Willow Park in the care of Fulton, Edward’s man, to be under the chaperonage of the odious Aunt Prudence and the meek cousin, Milly. While avoiding stitching in the evenings, she discovers Edward’s scientific genius and the artificial leg he made for Fulton. Her esteem for Edward rises and she is actually looking forward to seeing him again when he does not arrive as planned.

When they realise Edward is abducted, Jemima schemes to go in rescue. She has cunning and she has money and with these she plunges herself and her companions into the world of dark sorcery and London shopping.

In London, Jemima and Fulton lead a double life as they search for Edward in the slums, manufactureys and even a bawdy house. When she final discovers Edward, her life is on the line.

While a vicious and bloody fight for survival is going on around him, Edward has to choose between saving her life or unleashing the unholy, vampiric beast Geneck on an unsuspecting London.

Pre-order from:


Emerald Fire by Donna Maree Hanson is Book 2 of the Cry Havoc series and is expected to be released at the end of January 2019.

The Silverlands Series by Donna Maree Hanson has brand new covers. It's an epic fantasy series, featuring magic and the occasional sword fight. It’s a portal fantasy featuring Sophy from our world who is transported to Argenterra.

Argenterra is Book 1.

In a land where oaths can’t be broken, be careful what promises you make. 
To break the binding oath is to risk the very magic of Argenterra.

Best friends, Sophy and Aria, are on a family trip in Scotland when they find themselves swept away to another world. 

The lush land of Argenterra is imbued heavily with a magic known as the GIVEN – but while Aria adapts quickly, able to use and recognize the magic as naturally as if she’d been born in this world, Sophy struggles to find her place. Far from discovering her own magical gifts, Sophy is unable to feel the GIVEN at all. Something about the magic has warped and changed her appearance and she’s lost her vibrancy, becoming a mere shadow of her former self. Previously the attractive, outgoing one, now she is ugly and unable to fit in, whereas Aria has grown in confidence.

As Aria thrives, quickly falling in love with a dashing prince, Sophy fights to survive in an increasingly hostile and deadly realm. She pairs up with Oakheart, ambassador to the king, on a quest to discover her true purpose in the kingdom, but soon the darker side of Argenterra and its people becomes apparent to both women.

The GIVEN is not without cost – the laws of this magic dictate that oaths are bound with the GIVEN and the inhabitants of Argenterra bear the mark of the original, ancestral oath to the land. Every promise must be kept or the land’s magic will compel its completion. Only murder can sunder a binding oath and then magic will wane and Argenterra will become the Ungiven Land – but no native Argenterran has that power. 

Now trapped by binding promises of their own, Sophy and Aria’s friendship will test oaths and Sophy’s very presence will pose a true threat to Argenterra... 

Available from:

Oathbound is Book 2.

We have some time before the Ancient Evil can reach into Argenterra. We are not the Ungiven Land yet…

Sophy lies frozen within a crystal prison. Protected by her oathbond to Oakheart, the minion of the Ancient Evil, Rufus, cannot touch her or the GIVEN magic she is leaching from Argenterra. Forced to leave Sophy to fulfil his oath, Oakheart returns the stolen child, Gillcress, to Princess Aria at Valley Keep. 

The weakening of the GIVEN magic has repercussions: oaths are beginning to fade, GIVEN magic is harder to summon and darkness has festered in Prince Dellbright’s heart. 

Oakheart is reluctant to leave Aria and Gillcress with Prince Dellbright, yet he must return swiftly to free Sophy before the jewel she is trapped within drains the GIVEN completely from the land. 

Accompanied by an adept and the forest folk, he sets out to rescue her. The order from Crystal Mountain Retreat is, if Sophy cannot be freed, she must be destroyed…

Yet there is even more treachery afoot…

Available from:

Ungiven Land is Book 1.

I do not know how we will live without the GIVEN magic. The Puri may want our bountiful lands but the fact is without the GIVEN, we are no better off than they are in the wastelands…

After being sucked into The Crystal Gate, Sophy remains trapped in the deadlands on the world of Yulandir. Some believe Sophy chose to return home to her own world, but Oakheart fears that she was taken and aches to find her.

At the mercy of Rufus and the Ancient Evil, Sophy suffers as they rip the land’s GIVEN magic from her. She must fight to keep the magic inside herself and find a way back to Argenterra.

Meanwhile, war is imminent and Oakheart’s loyalties are divided: he cannot go after Sophy to rescue her because no one knows how to operate The Crystal Gate and his father calls for aid as the Puri have invaded Silverdale.

Sophy despairs of rescue and soon her very life will be drained…

Available from:

Touch of Eon by Anna Hackett is Book 2 of the Eon Warriors series and is expected to be released on 9 January 2019.

Demon's Dance by Keri Arthur is Book 4 in the Lizzie Grace series and is expected to be released on 19 February 2019.

After dealing with human hunters killing werewolves for their pelts and a heretic witch determined to claim the wild magic for his own, the last thing either Lizzie Grace or Belle Kent need is a new evil burning into town.

When Lizzie’s asked to find a missing woman, she’s well aware death awaits. What she doesn’t expect to find is a very human pile of skin next the woman’s body. Nor does she expect to be called to a murder scene that has the classic hallmarks of a vampire attack… except the bite marks don’t match any recorded vampire bite.

As the body count grows, Lizzie, Belle, and Aiden struggle to find—and stop—whoever or whatever is behind the atrocities. But there’s an even greater danger on the horizon.

The newly appointed reservation witch has arrived… and it’s someone Lizzie knows

Non spec-fic titles

Cinderella and the Geek by Christina Phillips (Book 1 of British Bad Boys series) now has a new cover to go with the rest of the series.

I’m not looking for love or a Happily-Ever-After because I know how that ends. I just need to concentrate on my degree and look after myself. But there’s something about my boss, Harry, I can’t resist. It’s crazy since he’s so hot and smart it should be illegal.

And then, just like Cinderella, I have my night at the ball and a midnight kiss, and for a week all my sexy daydreams come true. That fake date changes my life in a way I could never imagine. It turns out, Harry wants me too.

But I’m off to pursue my dreams, and he’s taking his business to the next level. There’s no way this fairytale has a happy ending, but that doesn’t keep me from wishing for it.

Read Chapter One.

Available from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |  iBooks | Kobo | B&N |


Leisl Leighton has signed a two book contract with Escape Publishing for a romantic suspense series with a rural setting. The working titles are Climbing Fear and Blazing Fear. They will be set in the Victorian Alpine region near the old gold-mining village of Walhalla.

Climbing Fear is to be published mid-next year, and the second, Blazing Fear is slated for release early 2020.

TJ Nichols has a new book coming out in April from Dreamspinner Press. It's Book 1 in a new urban fantasy series. There's a dragon shapeshifter and a human cop and they definitely shouldn't be looking at each other like that...
Oh and there's the murder of a satyr to investigate.

Congratulations to all our DarkSiders!

Thanks for sharing in our news. Until next time....

Thursday 13 December 2018

Magic Thursday: Theresa Fuller Shares Memories of Her Childhood in Singapore

This mini-memoir by author Theresa Fuller is a totally fascinating insight into another culture. Enjoy!


I drew heavily on my parents’ arranged marriage when I was writing The Girl Who Became a Goddess.

An arranged marriage is a marriage organized by relatives and friends. In Singapore, the zodiac is considered, as well as the ages of the two young people and their personalities. My mother was extremely young. I was told the reason for marrying her off; was her mother was ill. This is the same scenario for my protagonist, Chang E (also known as Chang Er or Chang O), whose own mother was dying.
My mother was also apparently very beautiful, and her family worried she would be carried off by some young man and despoiled. Looking at my father, I often wondered what possessed her to marry him, for she was thin and fair, while he was dark and fat. Personality-wise, they were almost opposites. She was a princess; he, the court magician. Her answer was always that she had to be obedient. My sister and I were the products of that marriage, which unfortunately, lasted just over ten years. And my grandmother, whose illness necessitated the marriage, died exactly one week after I was born. She named me, but that was all I knew of her.

Divorce, then and now, in Singapore is considered a disgrace. My best friend was so worried about my future, that she informed me of her parents’ decision to adopt me, to prevent me from becoming ‘havoc’, which basically, was Singapore slang for getting expelled from school, possibly becoming a drug addict and maybe even an unmarried mother. A slut.

I failed school that year.

My teachers transferred me to the next class in the hopes that I would do better. Thankfully, I did. Our lives, however, had changed forever. I would like to say that my sister and I went from a normal, middle-class family to being latch-key kids. But sadly, that would have been something. Instead, each school day we came home to find ourselves locked out of the house—no mother in sight.
We were forced to wait an hour or so until she returned. After a few days of this, I rebelled.

I grabbed my sister and made her stand with me in the middle of the courtyard of our block of Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, where every single neighbour would see us. When my mother got home from wherever she had been, she was horrified. From that day on, she always made sure she was home before the school bus dropped us off. But the victory wasn’t what I’d expected.

When we got home, we deposited our bags in the living room, then rushed out the door with her. We were still hardly ever home.
My mother had developed a gambling obsession. She travelled from house to house playing Mah Jong. I hated being in strangers’ homes. In some, there were children we could play with, or fight with. There was often nothing else to do. To prevent me from complaining—which I was becoming very good at—she would buy me books.
I lay on the cement floor and read, and nothing disturbed me. She got her peace, and I got introduced to the world of books.
I used books to escape what was a horrible situation. Later, when I became a mother myself, I felt drawn back into a world that had given me so much joy. It was then that I began to write.
At first, I wrote children’s picture books. I had a toddler at the time, and I guess that was a natural progression but then I began writing fantasy which was, and still is, my first love. And probably the direct result of growing up with all these folktales.
In The Girl Who Became a Goddess, I wrote about the folktales I grew up with. Being of Chinese descent and living in Singapore, I was soon familiar with the mousedeer–Sang Kancil—who danced on the backs of crocodiles. Then there were the legends from China, of which Chang E, the Moon Goddess, was one of, as well as the boy who became a cricket.

Living in Sydney, Australia, so far away from the jungles of Singapore and Malaysia, I wanted my children to understand the world I’d come from, the stories that had made me who I am today, because stories settle in your psyche and become a part of who you are.
Even telling my first born about Peter Rabbit took an interesting turn one day when I walked in on my Australian husband, who was telling our six-year old his Australian version of Peter Rabbit—how to skin a rabbit.

We take stories and turn them into our own—writing what we want to happen and thus creating a world which makes sense, and hopefully makes us happy.

I write about girls saving the world, and in the process, themselves.   


Here is another of Theresa's books.
Available now! Amazon

She thought she could change the world...

When Lady Elizabeth Ada Lovelace, a beautiful, arrogant suffragette, purchased the 19th-century Algorithmic Engine in order to become the world's first programmer, she planned to break the shackles of inequality for Victorian women.

Until her world became that of the machine...

Instead she learns the true meaning of equality when she ends up trapped, brought down to the level of the machine. Inside the double-crossing computer, Elizabeth must match wits with a stubbornly idealistic ghost and a chillingly handsome doppelganger in the computer's endless series of mind games. But as the machine learns to become a sentient being, time is ticking away. Elizabeth finds herself falling in love with the ghost trapped in the machine. Together they are pitted in a race against the machine to escape before the Algorithmic Engine shuts down - killing them all.

Now all their worlds hang in the balance.

Saturday 24 November 2018

Darklight On ... Clare Rhoden

Today's Darklight On is ... Special Guest Clare Rhoden

Welcome, Clare

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
I suspect that a childhood devouring all things Dr Who may have had something to do with it, but I have also always loved fantastical stories. Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, and Paddington Bear all inhabit worlds just a bit removed from ours, worlds that make us reflect on our own. These days I find that the books I read are somewhat darker, but I guess that goes with the times. Speculative fiction allows us to observe, imagine, and explore. I just love it.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I think you would call me a pantser, because although I have a general idea of where a story or character is going, I never really know until I sit at the keyboard. I write myself into quite a few corners. Then I have to find ways to escape or ways to make the corner work. Occasionally that means retreating to square one, but most of the time I just run with it. “Oh, is that what you want to say? Is that where this is going?”  I believe that some of story-telling is subconscious so I like to let my mind choose its own path. There is indeed something magic about writing.

Do you have a favourite of your characters?
I find it so hard to choose! I could just say “the one who is talking to me at the moment”. I like something about them all, or they would be too hard to write. Even the ‘evil’ characters are wonderful to play with. I do sincerely love the canini – the intelligent, compassionate wolf-dogs of the world of the Pale – but if I had to be on a desert island with someone, it would be the tribesman Feather. He’s gorgeous, and very practical too! A perfect post-catastrophe man.

What are you currently working on? 
I’m rattling along with the third instalment of the Pale story, and fighting gamely to keep some hope in dystopia. I think of that as my ‘work’. I’ve also got a WWI historical romance about to be published (on December 1) so I have publisher edits to attend to.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 
My own first round of editing, I think. If I’ve got to that stage, then I have heaps of words on the page. The first draft, for me, is just getting everything down. Usually way too much. Editing is like reading a book – something I love to do – but with the chance to make it better. Plus more cups of tea.

What can we expect from Clare Rhoden in the future?
I hope you’ll find more books in more genres, as well as my main path of speculative fiction. Spec fic gives me so much leeway to play with different philosophical perspectives as well as to imagine how it might be to be human in another place or time or entire world. However, I also just submitted a middle grade book about magic cats, and I have hopes that we will see it out next year.

Who are your favourite authors?
You do like to ask difficult questions! Here’s a list, in a very mixed order, and for very different reasons: Mary Renault; Sebastian Barry; Georgette Heyer; Cormac McCarthy; JK Rowling; Ali Smith; Mary Stewart; Katherine Kerr; Robin Hobb; Jasper Fforde. 

What are you currently reading?
Record of a Space-born Few by Becky Chambers. It’s brilliant. I now have to add her to my list of authors to watch (Emily St John Mandel; Rachel Nightingale; Belinda Crawford; Steven Amsterdam; Laura E Goodin; Jane O’Reilly; Jane Rawson; Chris Womersley).

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
I am still devoted to Tom Baker as Dr Who, and I loved the first series of Star Trek to bits. As a very young child, I often wanted my family to be Lost in Space…

Do you have advice for emerging writers? 
Nobody else is going to write your book. It’s up to you. Only you can give it any chance of existing.


Thanks, Clare Rhoden!

Thanks for having me J

Clare’s latest book is Broad Plain Darkening (Pale #2):

The safe world of the Pale is under threat.
Inside the policosmos, the new Regent Adaeze strives for dominance over the all-powerful Senior Forecaster, but the Pale’s humachine citizens are unaware that their city is close to collapse.
Outside on Broad Plain, the exiled human Hector undertakes a dangerous trek to find a safe haven for the orphaned twins.
How can anyone survive as their world shifts underneath them?

The Pale (Pale #1)Amazon US / Amazon AU 

Broad Plain Darkening (Pale #2): Amazon US / Amazon AU

Find Clare: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Monday 19 November 2018

DarkSiders Around the Web for November

Join us as we whizz around the web...

Free Book!

The Guy Next Door (Book 1 of Sex, Lies And Family Secrets) by M.L. Tompsett is currently FREE.

Links Available from:


C.M. Simpson now has a newsletter and if you sign up, you can get a Starter Pack for five series. 

Blog Posts

Juanita Kees Calls for All Readers in Perth.

C.M. Simpson writes about short stories and other forms of return, and writing short stories from a creative prospective.

Keri Arthur features upcoming release Cursed in her Six Sentence Sunday - post 1 and post 2.

From Keri's blog

Kelly Steel features Dani Collins with a post on Writing to Your Market.

Leisl Leighton  has Guest Author – Laura Boon and The Millionaire Mountain Climber.

Mel Teshco has an October Update

Eleni Konstantine shares her October 2018 Reading.

Anna Hackett was mentioned for Soul Stealer on the Australian Womens Writer's Challenge Blog in the Speculative Fiction Round Up, Issue 10 AND the October 2018 Round Up of Erotica, Romance and Romantic Suspense.

Whiskey with My Book has reviewed Embrace the Passion (Pets in Space Anthology 3) which features a story by Anna.

Theresa Fuller talks Steampunk on her blog with posts the The Steam in Steampunk, The Punk in Steampunk, and Howl's Moving Castle and Steampunk

Whiskey With My Book has reviewed Dawn of the Cyborg by Marie Dry.

InD'tale Magazine has reviewed Alien Captured (Book 5 of the Zyrgin Warriors).  

Lilliana Rose talks Travel and Creativity,  Plan B, and Which Pen? on her Cafe Pondering blog

Thanks for joining us. 
Until next time, happy reading!

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DarkSide DownUnder's book lists (dsdu-books shelf)