I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Tuesday, December 31, 2013


To all my readers - I hope 2014 is a generous, prosperous and happy new year for you!

Sourced from worldhdwallpaper.com

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Time to Make More Time!

After much thinking and decision making, it's with an element of sadness I announce that I'll no longer be posting regular articles on my blog.

I've been organising, preparing and posting series, guest author interviews and other articles for 5 years - a huge commitment of time and effort, one I have thoroughly enjoyed as I've met so many new friends through doing this - but it's time to call it quits.


Quite simply - my writing. Between teaching, writing, blogging and social media, something has to give. There are so many stories in my head busting to be written, I need more time!

I'll post blog pieces but they'll be when I have time or feel so moved. Will guests still be welcome? Absolutely (feel free to email me if you'd like to visit) but it will be more like guest posts rather than interviews.

What about announcements on new releases, good news and giveaways? I'll definitely post about them - never fear!

I'd like to thank all the guests who have appeared here, or those who have guest blogged or talked about various topics over the years. It's been a pleasure having you.

But most of all, I'd like to thank the readers of this blog - you have commented and corresponded with enthusiasm. I hope you've enjoyed the content posted or learned something new.

While I may not be as frequent a visitor to my own blog, I'll be haunting the pages over on Facebook, or tweeting on Twitter. And my newsletter will also still go out regularly (sign up here, if you'd like to receive it).

See you all in 2014 ... sometime!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, however you celebrate this season - I hope today is a good one for you!

Best Wishes of the season
to you all!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Year That Was...2013...

It's the end of December and in a week it will be 2014!

Phew, where did 2013 go?

It's certainly been a manic year with a whole swag of events happening on my blog. Let's look back at some of the highlights...

Chris Hemsworth was my inspiration for Arek!

There have been many and you can find them all listed under this link but my favourites this year have included...

*The consecutive three-month long, three-box Aussie Author Giveaway that ran in conjunction with Rosemary's Books, Galaxy Bookstore and Rendezvous. It was a huge success!


*The whole month of March was dedicated to the buzz for ALLEGIANCE SWORN, which came out on April 2nd. You can find a host of extra's and insights into the characters of the Light Blade series during those weeks.

*Making the trek to Taree to speak on the Queen of Hearts author panel with Cathryn Hein & Karly Lane.

*Talking about world-building with:

*Posting up of A New Beginning (Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3), a free read science fiction romance short story.

The Cat's Tale - the shennanigans of Furball, one of my cats, and a certain paper bag.

Was there anything that caught your eye this year on my blog?

I'd love to know what interested you!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WRITING: A New Beginning (Part 3)

This is Part 3 of a science fiction romance short story I wrote for the RWAustralia© Little Gems competition several years ago.

If you missed the previous installments, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

© Kylie Griffin 2013

“No.” I stopped in the row next to him and stared around at the parts of a dismantled pipeline strewn all over the ground. Precious water dampened the dirt at the base of one palm. “Is everything all right?”
One, broad shoulder shrugged. “Blocked pipe. Mud from the river builds up near the gate valves. Got to unblock it by hand. Should’ve updated the pipes … this is boring you, isn’t it?”
“Not at all.” I handed him the hydro-pouch with a nervous smile. “There’s a lot to learn about helping you run this place. You might need to take things slow, explain a lot, but I’ll get it. I’m fit, strong, used to long, hard hours.”
The hydro-pouch halted halfway to his lips. “I’m not after a slave, Ms.Una.”
“And I’m not offering to be one but I’d like to think you’d let a partner share that dream of yours.”
His frown deepened. “A partner?”
I took a deep breath and looked around the paddock, feeling the heat, knowing I was sweating as much as he was, both of us tasting the ever present dust and grit.
“You’ve a grand vision for the future, Mr.Tann. I like a man that knows what he wants and goes after it. You’re a bit like me in that respect.” I shoved the broad brimmed hat back so I could look up at him. “I’d hoped for a future, one slightly better than what I left behind but when I got here I wondered what I’d Bonded into. I worried that you’d take advantage of my situation but you’re not the man I expected.“
He remained silent, watching me through hooded eyes, his gaze intense. I gave him a small, anxious smile and smoothed a hand over my cover-all, well aware of how lean and skinny I was.
“You’ve a beautiful home. I can see the love and care you put into it. You have a good eye for crafting and you obviously work hard.” I scuffed the dirt with the toe of my boot. “There’s a beauty in the starkness of this land. I won’t say I really like it yet but I can feel the peacefulness here.”
“It grows on you.”
I nodded. “In time I’m sure it will.” I wet my lips. “I’m a plain looking woman, Mr.Tann, and I doubt I’m very experienced with what pleases men compared to others you’ve known …”
“Stop.” The quiet word halted my rambling.
I stared down at the ground, flushing, thinking I’d offended him with my plain speaking. I’d never been good at saying things eloquently, but it wasn’t in me to dodge an issue no matter how awkward it was.
Two large, mud-coated boots entered my field of vision. A grease-stained finger tilted my chin up so that I looked at him. His broad face held an oddly contented look.
“I never expected you to appreciate or recognise the beauty in any of this, so that you do fills me with a greater satisfaction than you could know.” He laid his large hand over my heart, his touch gentle. “What you have here is all I need, not looks, not experience or fine education.”
My heart squeezed tightly with his soft words and the intense expression on his face. I bit my lip, hope curling deep inside me.
“Besides, I know I’m not one to boast about good looks.” The ghost of smile softened his rugged features. His thumb smoothed over my lip. “If all you want is a partner, I’ll settle for that. But if, by some miracle, you feel we could become lovers then I’m willing to wait. I’m a patient man and one who knows how to make the best of any given situation.”
A slow grin curved my lips. “When we get back to your cabin, Mr.Tann, I think I’d like to formalise our Bond-contract into a permanent arrangement.”
Astonishment lit his features. “There’s no rush to decide. You might change your mind. Life out here’s hard.”
I shook my head. “My future is here now, with you.”
He swallowed hard and a muscle ticked in his jaw. “I’m honoured to be your partner, Ms.Una. Never thought to find someone like you.”
“Do you think we could call each other by our given names?” I asked, wistfully. Formality seemed rather irrelevant now.
“I’d like that, Kaylee.” He hung the hydro-pouch on one of the palm-fronds and crouched. “Here, see your first lesson.”
I moved down beside him and discovered how to unblock a pipe. It took another three hours to check the remaining lines and the sun was setting as we made our way home through the dust.
“Rylan?” He turned to look down at me. “I meant to ask you earlier.  Why did you call this property Pearl Station?”
“Don’t you think it suits?” It was an odd name and my puzzled frown brought a crooked smile to his face. “Think about it. This land is as pitted and ugly as an oyster’s shell yet if you delve beneath that layer, inside her you’ll find a treasure worth discovering.”
Touched by the poetry of his words I reached for Rylan’s hand and laced my fingers with his. He seemed surprised but then tightened his grip, his touch warm and comforting. The decision to come to P-171 was no longer as frightening as it seemed several hours ago.
I’d found my own pearl and he was worth more than I’d ever hoped for.

© Kylie Griffin 2013 
 All rights reserved. No commercial reproduction, adaptation, distribution or transmission of any part or parts of this website or any information contained therein by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of Kylie Griffin.

I hope you enjoyed reading this short sci-fi romance story as much as I did writing it!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WRITING: A New Beginning (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a science fiction romance short story I wrote for the RWAustralia© Little Gems competition several years ago.

If you missed it, you can find Part 1 here.

© Kylie Griffin 2013

Sighing quietly in relief, I stared out at the scenery. A thin, green line broke the tan hues of the landscape and as we drew closer I realised it was vegetation edging a creamy coloured river. The multitude of plant life provided visual cool relief in the heat of the day and brought a smile to my face.
“That river is the start of Pearl Station, all forty thousand acres of my settlement.” Hesitant pride coloured Rylan’s voice. “Don’t look much now, I know, but see the silver coloured paddocks near the river? Yasar-palms. Experimental hybrid but suited to the dry environ. Four years growth, watered eight times a day initially but now their tap-roots go deep enough to access the artesian basin. One day the far hills and the plains will be covered in them, then I’ll bring in stock.”
Enthusiasm lit his face and he spoke with such quiet confidence that I could see the vision he evoked. Such deep emotion and passion for a hard fought dream.
I tilted my head to one side. “You love this place.”
He slanted a glance my way, his expression becoming more guarded, and shrugged. “It’s home.”
In another ten minutes the skimmer slowed to cross the wide river and on the southern bank I saw a single storey cabin nestled in among the lush vegetation. A small slice of heaven in an arid wasteland.
“You go on inside, make yourself at home, Ms.Una,” Rylan said, as he parked the skimmer close to the door. He alighted and came around to help me out. He carried my heavy duffle bag to the door then turned back towards the skimmer.
A head shorter than him I had to look up to address him. “Where are you going?”
He ran a hand through his wavy black hair. “Got chores to do before I come in. Need to catch up before dark.”
I nodded and watched him head over to a small pump station and disappear inside. A moment later I heard a power generator start up. Water rushed through a pipe coming from the shed. Rylan reappeared, a wide brimmed hat on his head, toolbox in hand. He followed a pipeline that lead out into the dusty paddocks.
I watched him stop every so often to check them. I frowned. The paddocks were large and the pipelines extended into the distance. A demanding, lonely job when one had to be self-reliant to fix or tend things and make a living from it.  He disappeared into the heat-haze so I decided to explore my new home.
The cabin had an insulated steel covered frame, solar panels on the roof and water storage tanks dug in under the ground. The few windows were coated with a reflective gold film, letting the light in but keeping the heat out.
I sighed at the climate-controlled interior, and took a moment to appreciate the cool air ducted through vents set high in the wall. A luxury, and one Rylan Tann had left on for our arrival.  A considerate gesture.
The open plan style inside had an airy feel to it. I dumped my duffle near the door and surveyed the room. Living and sleeping quarters only, the amenities walled off by a portable screen in one corner. His kitchen had all the basics, well stocked and outfitted. The comm. and disk-player sat on a shelf near one of the windows. The furniture was simple but I liked the clean, spartan style. After living in a room half this size with nine others, this was decadence.
I ran my hand along the small table near the cooking facilities, curious about the smooth texture. The bowls stacked on the shelves and some of the containers had the same feel. Moving towards the bed I traced the intricate swirling pattern carved into the headboard and the functional, patched-sewn blanket. The items all looked handmade. Had Rylan made them? If so, he was a skilled craftsman.
I could almost imagine the tall man sitting in the shade of one of the trees outside, lathe and chisel in hand, patiently carving and sanding wood imported from off-planet until he was satisfied with what he’d done. The time taken to craft the items spoke of patience and care.
One holo-pic rested on the low bedside table.  I sat down on the edge of the bed and peered at it. A younger Rylan stood among a group of men in uniform, his unit.  He was smiling, his arms slung around the young men next to him. The sense of camaraderie between them was strong.
Slowly, I peered around the cabin, taking in everything that defined the man I knew as Rylan Tann. I’d seen enough to decide.
I wandered over to the small refrigerator unit and looked inside, smiling when I found a large hydro-pouch on the top shelf. Slinging it over my shoulder, I found a spare broad brimmed hat hanging near the door. The heat hit me as soon as I left the cabin. I stopped in the shade of the lush trees, inhaled a lungful of dry heat, and grimaced at the sweat I could already feel gathering in the hollows of my body.
Shading my eyes, I stared out across the paddock. Life would be hard out here with Rylan, but only a different sort of hard than the one I was used to. P-171 certainly wasn’t for the faint-hearted and I’d never considered myself weak. I could adapt and if I read the man right, Rylan would help.
Lifting my chin, I started walking, following the same pipeline I’d seen Rylan track. He had a grand dream, one that required dedication and hard work but he seemed more than capable of seeing it to fruition. The hip-high Yasar-palms were healthy looking, strong despite their immaturity. I ran my hands over the leaves, and the thin fronds tickled my skin. Even being city-bred I knew that once they grew the ecology would change. Rylan’s desolate wilderness could transform into a green paradise.
“Ms.Una, over here.” Rylan’s hail came from my left.
Ducking through the rows I found Rylan greasing a valve on one of the pipes. He was bare-chested, his tanned body covered in sweat, his shirt cast on the ground near his toolbox. He rose frowning, wiped his hands on his long pants.
“Something wrong, Ms.Una?”

© Kylie Griffin 2013 
 All rights reserved. No commercial reproduction, adaptation, distribution or transmission of any part or parts of this website or any information contained therein by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of Kylie Griffin.

Part 3 will be posted this time next week...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

WRITING: A New Beginning (Part 1)

I wrote this sci-fi romance short story for the RWAustralia© Little Gems competition several years ago.

I was intrigued with the "mail-order bride" idea and decide to place it in a sci-fi setting. It was fun developing the idea and the characters.

I mean, what sort of person would willingly contract or bond themselves to a person they've never met? What would motivate them to leave everything familiar and head off into the unknown? To chose an uncertain future?

And what about the person who advertised for a partner? Were they so desperate for company they'd take the drastic step of marrying a stranger? Or just lonely?

These were the 'what if' questions that prompted me to throw Rylan and Kaylee together. This story will be posted in three installments over the month of December. I hope you enjoy it.

© Kylie Griffin 2013

What had I signed up for? Certainly not the situation I found myself in, that’s for sure, but anxiety prodded the nerves dancing in my stomach anyway. I fiddled with a long strand of blonde hair then tucked it behind my ear. Oh, I’d anticipated some of the variables I’d need to adjust to P-171, frontier colonial planet; issues like uncertainty about the future, deep-space cryo-sleep for a year, a Bonding contract with terms yet to be negotiated, and a life vastly different than the crowded, overpopulated existence I’d had back on Earth, but nothing had prepared me for this.
Heat rippled off the dry, dusty hills and ravines of a land so desolate it made the dirty, rowdy, ram-shackled spaceport-town four hours behind me look like a High-class metropolis rather than a haven for the desperate.
I wiped at the sweat on my face and squinted against the bright sunlight out over a cream and tan landscape rippling in the afternoon heat. The hum of the skimmer as it made its way over yet another undulating, rock strewn hill was the only sound of civilisation present in a terrain so unforgiving I wondered how any of the Terra-farmers could ever make a living from dirt and stone. Water was scarce, as I quickly learnt, more precious than credit, and everything was bartered or sold by the litre.
“We’re nearly there, Ms.Una.”
My travelling companion, Rylan Tann, broke the silence, his voice rich and deep; only the second time I’d heard him speak other than the initial awkward meeting at the Bond-Office when he’d picked me up and we’d thumb-printed the contract. I was his Bondwoman for six months, either as a Terra-labourer or companion or both. Final terms were still negotiable.
“Please, call me Kaylee, Mr.Tann.” He grunted and I glanced over at him, wondering what he was thinking. He didn’t seem to be in a hurry to talk about our situation. His lean, angular, clean-shaven face gave nothing away yet there was a quiet strength beneath the stoic facade.
I’d expected Rylan to be well into his fifties. The brief info-sheet on him said he’d been in the Federation military, a retired veteran turned Terra-farmer, but he seemed to be in his mid-thirties, a few years older than me.
His large, broad shoulder frame barely fit in the skimmer seat. He handled the skimmer with skill that came from years of experience. Underneath the worn but clean coverall he had a hard, thick-muscled body, one of the first things I’d noticed when he’d helped me into the skimmer; a man well used to physical labour. Something I could definitely appreciate.
“Your settlement block is a long way from port, Mr.Tann,” I said, softly. “Do you have any neighbours?”
His dark brown eyes, the colour of chocolate I’d once seen in a store window but never tasted, met mine a moment before returning to the horizon. “The Neelan family’s only an hour away on the eastern border. Open plains, unclaimed, on the others.”
An hour and nothing but isolation? I swallowed dryly and smoothed a hand over the practical coveralls issued to me when I’d disembarked the sleeper-ship. It would take getting used to but the remoteness had a certain peacefulness I could learn to like, especially after living in a multi-celled, dorm-styled apartment with four other families.
“The pre-fab cabin has a comm. Bought a disk-player last wet-season. I like music. No vid-feed though. Couldn’t afford the uplink to the satellite. Dust also distorts the reception.”
I smiled. “Can’t miss what you never had, Mr.Tann. My family couldn’t afford one either. We had ten mouths to feed.”
His rugged, tanned face lit up with surprise. “Is that why you Bonded to a Colony world?”
“Partly.” I cleared my throat and swallowed dryly. The dust and residual effects of cryo-sleep made my voice hoarse.
Rylan glanced at me, then leant across the console, flipped open a small compartment and offered me a hydro-pouch.
I took it, impressed that he’d noticed my thirst. “Thank you.” I broke the seal and sipped the cool liquid, aware that he was waiting for an answer. Fiddling with the corner of the package, I took a fortifying breath. “My family’s financial situation limited my formal education, Mr.Tann.  Not a lot of employment for those with basic-education but I got by hiring on as a general labourer. I learnt enough on the street to know hand to mouth subsistence held no future and my family needed the space, so I signed up.”
He grunted. “Difficult choice for a woman coming out here.”
“I’m not afraid of hard work. Bonding gave me more options than I had on Earth.”
An embellishment of the truth, but I was unwilling to admit it’d been my only option. I’d barely been able to pay the application fee so this was a one-way trip for me. I had no credit to break our contract if he turned out to be a less than desirable employer. It was doubtful the short-staffed Peacekeepers would be able to enforce bonding regulations this far away from the port, they’d had enough trouble enforcing the law within town limits from what I’d seen. P-171 was my future and the man beside me would decide a large part of it.
His blunt question was quiet but terse. “Are you looking for a husband?”
“Depends.” I bit my lip. “Are you looking for a wife?”
“Can’t say I thought any woman would want to live out here. I did wonder what type would accept an application such as mine.” He paused, and his large hands tightened on the skimmer controls. “I’d consider marriage. I’ve been here five years, Ms.Una. Company of any sort, but especially a woman’s, would ease the hours of loneliness.”
An honest answer, one that deserved a response.
“Mr.Tann, I can’t commit to someone I barely know.”
He nodded, the tension around his eyes and mouth easing. “That I can understand. Not expecting an answer today.”

© Kylie Griffin 2013 
 All rights reserved. No commercial reproduction, adaptation, distribution or transmission of any part or parts of this website or any information contained therein by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of Kylie Griffin.

Part 2 will be posted this time next week...