One hundred years of #Anzac Day. Lest we forget.

AnzacOne hundred years ago today, 25th April,  thousands of young men stormed ashore on a beach in the Dardanelles into a hail of machine gun fire from the Turkish defenders, well entrenched upon the heights above. So started the tradition of ANZAC, the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.

Lest we forget.

Today we commemorate their sacrifice, and those of the many Australian and New Zealand men and women who fought and died in defence of our countries, or to support our allies in their conflicts.

It’s somehow very fitting that we have chosen this day to commemorate the fallen. Because this assault was, to me, a shining example of the stupidity and futility of war.

Lest we forget.

Those young men went off on their Great Adventure in support of Mother England, far from their homes in the new lands in the south. Australia’s population in 1914 was approximately 4.9 million. Around 420,000 Australians enlisted for service in the First World War, representing around 39% of the male population aged between 18 and 44. Of those, around 60,000 never came home and many, many more were left sick or wounded. Source

WW1 gutted Australia. You have only to travel around the tiny country towns and look at the war memorial you’ll find in every one. They were erected after 1918, listing the names of those who died overseas. Many, many surnames are duplicated, or triplicated or more. Brothers and cousins, all the men of their generation – gone.

The landing at Gallipoli, on the beach now known as Anzac Cove, was futile from the start. Von Clausewitz would have turned in his grave. The Turkish defenders were well entrenched in the heights above the beach, fighting for their homeland. In contrast, for the aggressors the Dardanelles were a strategic objective. The Anzacs stayed for eight months, then somebody finally saw sense and evacuated them in the dead of night. From there, they went to the hell on earth of the trenches in France, where they consolidated their reputation as formidable soldiers, especially at Villers-Brettoneux where Australians are welcome to this day.

But I don’t believe the rhetoric, that they fought for the freedoms we enjoy today. The only time that truly happened was in the dark days of WW2, when in 1941-2 the Japanese advanced down through Asia into Papua New Guinea to menace Australian soil at Darwin and Broome – and Sydney Harbour. The Eighth Army, hastily brought back from the Middle East despite Churchill’s disapproval, pushed the Japs back, foot by weary foot, over the barely passable Kokoda trail.

This is in no way to belittle the courage and suffering of any Anzac soldier, merely to cast a critical eye on the people who send young men and women into conflict. Why were we in Vietnam? Iraq? Afghanistan?

Today I pause and reflect on not just the Anzacs who died at Gallipoli. Many Turks did, too, defending their homeland under the command of the great General Kemal Ataturk, who would go on to create the modern state of Turkey. For the Turks, of course, Gallipoli was a great victory. It’s truly fitting that both sides will come together to jointly honour their dead.

And I’ll end with this, Eric Bogle’s wonderful song And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Lest we forget.

Greta’s having a rant #amwriting

It’s my turn over at the Spacefreighters Lounge, where I’m having a rant about one of my favourite topics. Pop on by and say g’day. (Click on the button up there)

AllRomance is discounting titles #AReBlast

AREBLASTYes folks, for one day only (15 April US time) you can pick up any of my titles reduced by 25%. So you can grab your free copy of The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy, and buy The Iron Admiral: Deception for just $3 (or thereabouts). Titles are all available as .mobi (for Kindle and Kindle apps) .epub (for Digital Reader and most non-Kindle readers) or .pdf.

Click the banner at the top of the page to check the bargains!

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The adventures of Morgan Selwood

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Weretiger storiesCover of book A Matter of Trust

Nature in the raw #photo

Note the fighting on the table

Note the fighting on the table

There’s nothing quite like watching wild animals doing what they do. I’m privileged to live in a bird rich neighbourhood. If you come here often you’ll know about my local rainbow lorikeets. They come to the pool fence not far from the kitchen window to partake of apple juice, and sometimes fruit like apples and pears. Yes, they’re cute and colourful, but they’re also aggressive little buggers, so there’s always a lot of pushing and shoving and beaks and claws.

But then, even when there’s no food available, the birds feel comfortable to do what they do. They almost always arrive in pairs and though males and females look alike, you can pick the males from their behaviour. The males quite often put on dominance displays. They fluff themselves up, arch their necks and strut. More often than not, they’re doing that to impress their lady friend because they’re feeling amorous.

Like this.

How about it, sweetheart?

How about it, sweetheart?

You can see she’s receptive. She has her legs spread wide, ready to carry his weight. So he hops on and has his way, using his wings for balance. Most birds don’t have penises, so really, they’re just rubbing their bits together. It  doesn’t last for long, though it may happen several times. Eventually, she’ll get fed up with his advances and snap at him to tell him she has a headache. Or a backache.

Amorous lorikeets

Making whoopee

 

 

 

Wanna make something of it?

Wanna make something of it?

 

 

 

 

 

The other place you get the aggressive eye contact and arched back is when the boys have a standoff. Here’s one. You can tell it’s all different.

But whatever they do, they are endlessly entertaining. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to have them share their lives with me.

Qucik! Everybody scarper!

Quick! Everybody scarper!

Do you love a bargain?

SaSotS cover Eight full-length science fiction romance novels and novellas from eight different authors at a bargain basement price! Sing a Song of the Stars is out there for your delectation for the same price as a few mouthfuls of coffee. Here’s what you’ll get.

Spanning the universe, from futuristic Earth to unique alien worlds, these stories combine the realms of science fiction with heartfelt romance and tantalizing sizzle. Adventure, mystery, space exploration, technology, betrayal, and love, these eight stories sing the songs of the stars–igniting the imagination, arousing the spirit, and uplifting the heart.

Farewell Andromeda by Laurie A. Green
The last thing deep space pilot Tiharra Bell needs is another romantic entanglement, and certainly not with the galaxy’s most famous astronomer. But she’s about to be fooled.

Reckless Rescue by Rinelle Grey
He crash-landed on her planet. Can they survive the winter together without falling in love?

The Seeker by Sandy James
The Vymalns have conquered Earth but Kara Michaels refuses to surrender. When Aiodhan Riel is sent to assassinate the Vymaln leader, he crash lands. Will he carry out his mission or fall for the rebellious Kara?

Unbound Instinct by C.E. Kilgore
Vex is unique among his kind. Cris is the last of hers. Freed from slavery, they seek an acceptance of themselves and an understanding of each other.

Alien Encounter: Janaya by Shelley Munro
Janaya is stuck on Earth. And because she neglected to have her travel inoculations in her hurry to protect her aunt from Torgons, she has bonded with an Earthman.

A Matter Of Trust by Greta van der Rol
Surrounded by enemies, it seems the only man prepared to help Princess Amira is the Demon Admiral. But can she trust him?

My Name Is A’yen by Rachel Leigh Smith
A’yen Mesu, a Loks Mé slave, doesn’t believe his homeworld exists. Dr. Farran Hart does. When she finds it, he’ll do anything to protect her. Even if it costs him his heart.

Captured By The Hawk by Aurora Springer
A Space Operetta: Kat steals codes from the Emperor’s Revenge. Captain Black Hawk hides his face under a mask. Will he win her heart before she uncovers his tragic secret?

ALL THIS FOR JUST US$0.99! It’ll keeping you reading for days and days and days!

Sing a Song of the Stars is available at

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I love spaceships #sfrb

Hi andAFFL-Button150 welcome to my worlds.It’s the first of April and we all know that’s April Fool’s Day, so the SFR Station has set up a blog hop entitled April Fools for Love. There’s a heap of great prizes, including here on my blog, so keep on reading.

If you’ve read my bio just about everywhere, you’d know I’m a fool for spaceships. One of my all-time favourites is Darth Vader’s flagshExecutor_and_escortsip, Executor. It took over from the smaller, but still very sexy, Imperial Star Destroyers. There they are, at right. I’ll never forget that wonderful scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Darth Vader is looking out of the viewscreen on the Executor‘s bridge – and it eclipses an ISD! Whoa, that’s one big ship! I fell in love there and then. I saw the movie three times in the first week and I’ve watched it a hundred times at least. I’ve even been known to skip all the Skywalker stuff to get to THAT SCENE. My heart still goes pit-a-pat.

Closer to home, Morgan’s Choice has a new cover. The old cover had a spaceship on it, too. But I found this new spaceship and fell in love. I’m a tart, I know.MC Poster2

Kuralon-Rescue-ebook-webSo it shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that for my Morgan’s Misfits stories I have added a very, very sexy spaceship. It was designed by Morgan, so it’s pretty special. And here it is, starring on the new cover for Kuralon Rescue. It’ll be on every cover of the Morgan’s Misfits books. If I get around to another one. Yes, you’re right, it’s a ship from DAZ, rendered by my wonderful cover designer, Rebecca Poole of Dreams2Media. But in MY books, the ship’s name is Vulsaur. It’s Admiral Ravindra’s personal yacht which was first introduced to readers in Morgan’s Return. Vulsaur comes to the rescue in Kuralon Rescue, and now it has become the Misfit’s own ship.

Ink_GvdRI expect you’d like to know how it got the name Vulsaur? Indeed, what is a Vulsaur? That’s a Vulsaur, that tattoo on young Ravindra’s shoulder. You’ll get all the answers in that short story. (Notice I’m not always obsessed with spaceships.) :)

Thanks for stopping by. Please share your favourite space ship stories. One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Ink, Supertech and the Iron Admiral: Conspiracy – don’t forget to tell me in your comment if you’d like the books as pdf, epub or mobi. Contest closes at the end of April, so you’ll have plenty of time.

We’ve set up an event on Facebook and we’d love you to join in at April Fools for Love. Things will be happening all through April. Prize winners will be announced on 1st May.

Do go and read some of the other marvellous posts in the SFR Station’s April Fools for Love blog hop.

PrizeListCroppedWe’ve got three wonderful prize packs for people who participate in our Rafflecopter giveaway. 

  • Grand Prize: $75 gift card + 18 ebooks

 

 

  • Second: $25 gift card + 12 ebooks

 

 

  • Third: $25 gift card + 8 ebooks

 

        CLICK HERE to enter

Teaser Tuesday – Starheart #sfrg

Today I’m sharing a short excerpt from one of my favourite scenes in Starheart. Do please note the use of coarse language. It’s one of Jess’s characteristics, so if you object to the F-word, this book is probably not for you. In this scene Admiral Hudson has had Jess’s ship stopped. She has been brought to his office to be interviewed.

_____________________________

SH cover payhipHudson hardly had time to make himself comfortable in his chair when his clerk said via his implant, “Captain Sondijk is here, Sir.”

He sat back in his seat, watching the door when she entered. Her grey ship suit was unzipped at the front and the scoop-necked white shirt she wore underneath revealed a tantalizing expanse of breast. The last time she’d been brought aboard she’d dressed for the occasion but this time she probably didn’t even realize. Her eyes blazed with fury as she barged into his office, flanked by a lieutenant and two troopers. No, intimidation didn’t work on Jess Sondijk.

“What in blazes is this about? Annoyed I stood you up?”

“Thank you, Lieutenant, you may go,” Hudson said.

He waited until the door closed behind the troopers. “I admit, I’m not accustomed to being stood up.”

She slammed both her palms on his desk and leaned toward him, affording him a lovely view of her cleavage. “You are not the fucking center of the universe.”

His gaze slid down to admire the swell of her breasts. Nice. Exquisite. Two delicious handfuls. His mouth watered. The prospect of a close and personal encounter with that body was enough to give a man a hard-on.

She pushed herself upright. “Oh, for fuck’s sake. Do you ever think about anything but your cock?”

He leaned back, grinning. “If you flaunt your assets, my dear, you can hardly blame me for looking.”

Scowling, she zipped up her suit.

“Very good. Now sit.” He pointed at the visitor’s chair beside her.

“Go to hell. You have no reason, no right to stop me and impound my ship. I’ve done nothing wrong and I’ve other things to do apart from some … some sort of verbal foreplay with you.” She folded her arms, staring down at him.

“You’re supposed to be having dinner with me at Aristides in a few hours’ time. Instead, you’ve careered off Nordheim as if all the demons in hell were after you. Where are you going and why?”

“None of your business.”

He held her gaze. “We can continue with this for as long as you like. But you will not be moving out of this office, let alone off this ship, unless you can give me a good reason.”

_________________________________

Starheart is available at all the usual places. Don’t forget to check out the other Teaser Tuesday snippets. You’ll find them in the SciFi Romance Group on Facebook.

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About that Clean Reader app…

canstockphoto6077467Of course I’ve got an opinion about the censorship app. But today is my turn on Spacefreighters’ Lounge, so you’ll be able to see me up on the soapbox over there. http://spacefreighters.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/if-that.html

Come on over and say g’day.

 

 

Pictures from the magic pool fence

I’m fortunate enough to live on a property where there’s room for a swimming pool. One of the downsides of having a pool in Australia is it has to be fenced. At least one and a half metres high, unclimbable, with self-closing gates. It’s a legal requirement to reduce the incidence of toddlers drowning in swimming pools, and non-compliance leads to fines. Yeah, yeah. We’re not forced to fence dams, or the ocean, or even garden ponds. We don’t get visits from people with small children and our property is fenced, but that’s irrelevant.

Hey ho. Rant over.

The upside of having the pool fence is that it’s not far from the back of the house and the local birds like to use it to perch. So we built a little feeding platform on it, where we put out bowls of apple juice for the lorikeets, and sometimes some seed for the seed-eating birds. It works like magic, folks. Here’s a few pictures to prove it.

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This is what happens when the alarm call goes up

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Long-billed corella looking handsome

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A young blue-faced honeyeater (that green patch becomes blue as the bird ages)

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A sulphur-crested cockatoo laying claim to the bird seed. That’s a full grown lorikeet he’s bullying

Wet crested pigeon

A crested pigeon in the rain

Jockeying for position

Jockeying for position

New Release – Grand Master’s Pawn #sfrom #sfrb

Today, I’m pleased to host fellow author Aurora Springer who will introduce her new book, Grand Master’s Pawn. For this post, she’s provided an exclusive – an interview with THE GRAND MASTER HIMSELF!

GrandMastersPawnFinalGRAND MASTER’S PAWN.

Blurb

A thousand years in the future, wars and portal failures disturb the fringes of the galaxy. On Terra, twenty-two year old Violet Hunter seems an ordinary student of the Space Academy, who dreams of exploring unknown planets. She applies to serve as the pawn of one of the twelve Grand Masters, although her hidden talent of empathy makes her ineligible. Violet has defied the prohibition against psychics for half her life. Why should she stop now?

The Grand Master with the griffin avatar selected the girl with the star-shaped birthmark in spite of her father’s dire prophesy. He is suspicious about his disobedient pawn, yet he cannot deny the success of her missions to strange planets where she finds more than he expected.

Violet seeks the truth about the mysterious Grand Masters. Who or what are they? Do they threaten or benefit civilization? And, what is the connection to her father’s death twenty years ago? While searching for answers, Violet does the unthinkable. She makes a bargain with her obnoxious Grand Master and challenges him to meet her face to face, risking her secret to discover his purpose. She plunges into an impossible love and a world of intrigues. The vicious conflicts of the Grand Masters propel her into flight from a terrible enemy and a desperate search for allies to save her new found love.

Interview with the Grand Master

A stellar good day to our viewers! I’m Dan Murray of the Galactic Network bringing you an exclusive interview with one of the twelve Grand Masters. The black-uniformed guards have opened the iron gates to let me into the black marble Council Hall. A furry alien with six legs beckons from the inner door and leads me along a corridor to a door marked with the symbol of a griffin. The alien’s long ears twitch and it squeaks, “Wait inside for Grand Master.”

The room is dark. Peering round, I see a stone statue of a griffin at one side. Suddenly, the eyes glow blue. The Grand Master is present. Tapping my mike, I check my list of questions and begin.

Dan: “Grand Master, it is a great privilege to interview you. Please tell us a bit about yourself.”

Grand Master: “I am a Grand Master!” A rush of air accompanies his deep voice and my hair stands on end.

Dan: “Er, do you have a name?”

Grand Master: “You may call me the Griffin.”

Dan: “Why don’t you appear in person?”

Grand Master: “Fool, it’s too dangerous! Did no one tell you? Exposure to my power is deadly.”

Dan: “Violet Hunter is your new pawn. Why did you select her?”

Grand Master: “She has excellent qualifications and an interesting pedigree.”

Dan: “Do you mean her father? Frank Hunter died twenty years ago.”

Grand Master: “He was murdered. No culprit was identified.”

Dan: “Were you sorry for his daughter?”

Grand Master: “Why should I feel sorrow? Her father was clairvoyant, although my little pawn has no record of psychic talent. She looks like a pixie with those big green eyes. At the selection, she seemed to look straight at me. Impossible! We have impenetrable shields.”

Dan: “Is she a valuable pawn?”

Grand Master: “She’s impudent and disobedient! Remarkably, in spite of her foolish risks, her missions are successful.”

Dan: “What is the goal of your missions?”

Grand Master: “No more questions!” His thunderous voice echoes through the room, the blue glow vanishes from the stone griffin’s eyes, and a blast of wind smashes me against the wall. My interview is over. I grope through the darkness to the door. His pawn is a brave woman to stand up to him. He sounded almost human when he spoke of her. Who knows the Grand Masters’ true nature? He might be an alien or an artificial intelligence.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TP1N5PM

Bio:

My career in science involves plenty of writing for research articles. But, I’ve imagined adventures in weird worlds for as long as I can remember. Now, I have achieved my life-long ambition to publish novels. My published works include science fiction and fantasy with romance and a sprinkle of humor. I was born in the UK and live in Atlanta with my husband, a dog and two cats to sit on my laptop. My hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

Media links:

Blog: http://AuroraSpringerNovels.blogspot.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Aurora-Springer/e/B00K2C4NL8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aurora-Springer/885945434752937

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AuroraSpringer

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101087717415198221200/posts

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