Archive | August, 2013

Kookaburra or Cockatoo: Which is King?

31 Aug

Who makes their presence most felt in the Australian bush,:the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo with its spectacular flocks and unmistakable screech,  or  the Kookaburra with is striking plumage and well-loved laugh?

I’ve shown you recently some photos of the Cockies, so this time the kookaburra can hog the spotlight.

Here is one I snapped recently in the local bush.

Kookaburra in the Australian Bush

Kookaburra in the Australian Bush

Where, Now?

29 Aug

Where, now?

That’s what this Rainbow Lorikeet seems to be thinking….

Certainly  it on the move, and luck came my way as I snapped it just in time!

The beauties of Australian nature are wondrous.

Where, now?

Where, now?

 

Another Lovely Review: ‘Michaela Betrayed’

28 Aug

What a lovely surprise! I woke up this morning to discover that Goodreads moderator Brenda had posted the following review of my ninth title, ‘Michaela Betrayed’.

Brenda’s Reviews > Michaela Betrayed

Michaela Betrayed
by Margaret Lynette Sharp (Goodreads Author)

2337007

Brenda‘s review

Aug 27, 13

bookshelves: 2013-release, aussie-authors, novella, romance, reviewing-by-request, own-read, read-on-kindle

Read on August 27, 2013 — I own a copy
Living in Sydney with her mother and father, Michaela found herself full of excitement when she won the scholarship to study music in London. Her Dad had been famous in his day, and she was happy to be able to follow in his footsteps. They were incredibly proud of her; the only blight on her happiness was leaving Thomas. She was very close to him; he was an aspiring writer, having trouble finding a publisher but doing his best.Settling into London in a flat with two other female students, Anna and Sally, Michaela was happy with the way life was going for her. Anna was also missing a boyfriend but felt her music was her priority. Exams were on the horizon, the teachers were pleased with her progress, but when Michaela fell ill, her subsequent return to Australia for recuperation meant her life would change.What would happen to Michaela and her dreams? Would she find a life with Thomas or would her future go in a completely different direction?

This novella by Margaret Sharp is a delightful story. A quick, easy read but one with depth and intrigue. Michaela is a likeable character who has an inner strength which she uses when necessary. Another Aussie title I have no hesitation in recommending.

With thanks for my copy to read and review.

Come on in, the Water’s Fine….

28 Aug

Come on in, the water’s fine…

That’s what this cormorant seems to be saying!

Moments before, it had been sunning itself on the rusty pontoon ladder.

All alone, it took the plunge!

The water's fine!

The water’s fine!

The sunshine is lovely, too!

The sunshine is lovely, too!

Another Sydney Sunset….

27 Aug

When there are clouds around, every sunset is different. Mother nature has a knack of crowning the end of day with a triumphant display of awe-inspiring beauty, especially in winter.

I never grow tired of sunsets, and I hope you share my feelings…

Another wonderful Sunset in Sydney

Another wonderful Sunset in Sydney

More Yellow Flowers Bloom in the Australian Bush

26 Aug

As the iconic Wattles fade, another yellow-flowered shrub is catching my eyes.

It’s quite a golden shade, and it’s certainly at home in my local bushland. Look around, and there are plenty of these to spot…

Can anyone give me its name?

Golden-flowered Australian native

Golden-flowered Australian native

Can you Spot the Cockatoo?

24 Aug

Can you spot the cockatoo?

It’s here, in a quite unusual place!

One of the pleasures of living near the river, set in bushland, is being able to observe nature first hand, and at close quarters.

Cockatoos, particularly white ones, are one of the stars of the parrot world, and they abound.

So, can you spot this adventurous one?

Can you spot the cockatoo?

Can you spot the cockatoo?

Its First Review on Amazon: MICHAELA BETRAYED

24 Aug

Great news! My new release, ‘Michaela Betrayed’, has been reviewed!

http://www.amazon.com/Michaela-Betrayed-ebook/dp/B00EKIT7Q6

Here it is…

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5.0 out of 5 stars And take a message to Michaela August 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Michaela has worked all her life in pursuit of the achievement of her… um, *father’s* goal, and bright, gifted and determined, she’s succeeded. Which isn’t bad. Michaela’s won a scholarship to study music in London, and the only hitch is that London sits inconveniently at a 17,000-kilometer remove from Australia and her closest friend, Thomas, an aspiring writer whose hopes may exceed his talent, and who certainly isn’t her parents’ concept of a suitable mate.Just when she seems safely and happily ensconced in her life in England, though — enjoying her studies, a shared flat, and the prospect of a new life — she’s stricken with pneumonia and induced to return to Australia for a month or two to recuperate, again bringing Thomas into her sphere and kindling a blaze of romance between them. But for Michaela, circumstance is a driving force, and Thomas may eventually cease to be her focus.

What I particularly liked about Sharp’s novella was its absolute verisimilitude. Young women like Michaela are influenced (for good or for ill) by their fathers, in just the way that Sharp describes. And life’s vicissitudes do seem to intervene in exactly these chaotic ways… more often than one would think statistically plausible. It was altogether easy to get into Michaela’s head (and Thomas’, for that matter). Whether Michaela chooses Thomas, her music instructor, or neither, I won’t reveal — but her thoughts and feelings have the ring of authenticity, and engage and captivate the reader.

Of course, in a world that little values art (of any sort), Michaela’s pursuit of music was not actually less quixotic or unrealistic than Thomas’ pursuit of a literary career, so there was a judgmental double standard emanating from her parents, and a measure of hypocrisy inherent in her initial acceptance of their views, but this, too, was entirely realistic. The best characters are the ones who are flawed, tempest tossed by fate, and bound to confront their own conflicted feelings. This novella *is* good art, in any case (as well as an extraordinarily good read), and deserves to be valued. Five stars.

Footnote: What a great way to celebrate my 3ooth Post!!

There’s a Pelican in the Baths!

23 Aug

There’s a pelican in the baths!

Such a rare event causes a surge of excitement!

Eyes turn towards it as folk marvel at its spectacular beauty and form.

Though it’s in the distance, you can still make it out…..

Au revoir!

There's a Pelican in the Baths!

There’s a Pelican in the Baths!

King Parrots: Jewels of the Australian Bush

22 Aug

Today’s sunny, cool conditions brought with it an abundance of activity by the native birds in our local bushland park.

Cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets, magpies, kookaburras: you name it: were out in force, delighting the unusually high number of mid-week visitors.

What pleased me most of all, though, was the presence of that most spectacular bird, the King Parrot.

Though these are sometimes quite camera-shy, hiding in the shadows of the tall gum trees, I have been lucky enough to capture some photographs.

Here’s one.

Aren’t they stunning?

A magnificent male King Parrot

A magnificent male King Parrot