The art of Nicholas Folland

Over the last two weeks we’ve been sharing summaries of and extracts from some Wakefield Press gems, in blog posts put together by work experience student Maddy. (And yes, we briefly had two Maddys in the office! Never enough Maddys, we say.) This is the last post of the series.

 

Cover of Nicholas Folland by Lisa Slade

 

Nicholas Folland follows the life and work of the well-known artist. This book displays Folland’s passion for jewels and other miscellaneous translucent glassware, and how artfully he works an ambience into a piece. Stunning to look at, this book allows one to explore their taste in polished crystal and how they could work it into the atmosphere.

Folland’s talent for transforming attractive objects into even more glamorous artworks transcends all expectations and leaves you breathless. Repurposing once-useless crystalware into pieces of history and identity which speak to the audience, Folland’s journey is set throughout the pages in an essay format, easy to pore over and digest.

 

Found crystal vases, LED lights, by Nicholas Folland

Untitled (10-14) (2013)

 

Found crystal vases, LED lights, by Nicholas Folland

Untitled (1-6) (2013)

 

Taxidermy deer, chandelier, by Nicholas Folland

Dear (2013)

 

Chandelier, refrigeration unit, 12W lighting, by Nicholas Folland

The Door Was Open … (2005)

 

Crystal and glassware, table, lightbox, cinefoil, by Nicholas Folland

Goodnight Sweetheart (2011)

 

Under construction, by Nicholas Folland

Fides (2012)

 

Crystal decanters, polyester resin, timber, aluminium, lightbox, by Nicholas Folland

Untitled (boat 5) (2008)

 

Cast crystal, timber, lightbox, by Nicholas Folland

Reclining Nude (2011)

 

Mixed media installation, by Nicholas Folland

Raft 2 (detail) (2009)

 

About the author

Lisa Slade spent her childhood in Hunter Valley, New South Whales, before moving to Newcastle to be a university lecturer. Relocating to Adelaide, Slade spent her time being Project Curator at the Art Gallery of South Australia, additionally curating exhibits whilst lecturing in art history between The University of Adelaide and The Art Gallery of South Australia. Slade has written many books before, a self proclaimed expert on art and writing, she skillfully weaves between words and pictures in a balance to let readers fully understand Folland’s art.

 

This book is available at our bookshop on 16 Rose Street, Mile End, or online.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series by Maddy, and happy browsing!

Baudin’s Voyagers and The Art of Science

Over two weeks we’re sharing summaries of and extracts from some Wakefield Press gems, in blog posts put together by work experience student Maddy. (And yes, we briefly had two Maddys in the office! Never enough Maddys, we say.)

 

Cover of The Art of Science by Jean Fornasiero, Lindl Lawton and John West-Sooby

 

The Art of Science tells of the rich history around Nicholas Baudin’s Voyagers from 1800 to 1804. Flip through the pages and join explorers as they discover and chart Australia. Beautiful scientific drawings illustrate exquisite flora and fauna, as Baudin’s voyagers collected over 100,000 specimens.

One of the most lavishly equipped scientific explorations to ever leave Europe, Baudin’s expedition uncovered the beauty in the Australian outback.

 

View of our anchorage in North West Bay, D’Entrecasteaux Channel, 29 Nivose, Year 10 (19 January 1802) Archives nationales de France, série Marine – 5JJ51

View of Anchorage in North West Bay

 

From The Art of Science

Red-necked pademelon by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur

 

From The Art of Science by Jean Fornasiero, Lindl Lawton and John West-Sooby

Grey Stinkwood from a drawing by Pierre-Joseph Redouté

 

From The Art of Science by Jean Fornasiero, Lindl Lawton and John West-Sooby

Aracana sp. (? ornata) by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur

About the authors

Jean Fornasiero is Emeritus Professor of French Studies at the University of Adelaide and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Lindl Lawton is Senior Curator at the South Australian Maritime Museum. John West-Sooby is Professor of French Studies at the University of Adelaide.

About the book

This book was published to coincide with the touring exhibition The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800–1804. This exhibition showcases more than 350 works from the Lesueur Collection held by the Museum of Natural History in Le Havre, Normandy, France. The exhibition has toured nationally, visiting Adelaide, Launceston, Hobart, Sydney and Canberra, before finishing up in Perth. It opened at the Western Australian Museum in September and runs until 9 December 2018. See more here.

The book is available at our bookshop on 16 Rose Street, Mile End or online.

Click here to view an extract.

Happy browsing.

An extract from The Hounded by Simon Butters

Over two weeks we’re sharing summaries of and extracts from some Wakefield Press gems, in blog posts put together by work experience student Maddy. (And yes, we briefly had two Maddys in the office! Never enough Maddys, we say.)

In this extract from The Hounded, Monty finds himself alone with beautiful Eliza from next door, and in her bedroom no less …

 

“You enjoyed it, didn’t you? Watching her suffer like that?”

The Hounded

“What if I did?” she grinned.

What if she did? She was not going to hide it. She’d accepted her nature long ago. It was now up to me to accept the darkness. I’d got her so wrong.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “It was my fault.”

Her look softened and she shook her head in disdain, refusing my apology. A knock on the door startled us.

“Quick! Get in there,” she ordered.

I hurried into her bathroom. She closed the door on me, and I stood in the dark, trying not to move. Blood gushed through my veins. The noise was a roaring loudspeaker in my ears. I was sure the sound would give me away. Wasn’t there some Voodoo guy in Haiti who could stop his heartbeat, just by thinking about it? Now, that was control. I thought I’d give it a go and held my breath. I concentrated on my heart, willing it to stop, or at least slow down a bit. It didn’t work. I just made myself dizzy.

“Eliza, dinner’s ready.”

“Thanks Doreen,” Eliza replied. “But I’m not hungry.”

I pictured the scene in the bedroom. Doreen would have the door open just enough to peer in tentatively. Eliza would be seated on the end of her bed, bolt upright with not a thing out of place. By the tension in her throat, I could hear Doreen was unnerved.

“But your father won’t like that,” she whimpered.

“I don’t care what he likes,” Eliza said calmly.

The door closed. A few seconds later, Eliza came into the bathroom to find me holding my breath. I gasped. I began to wobble. A floating gaseousness invaded my feet. I reached out for the shower curtain but missed and passed out. I woke to find myself upside down behind the toilet.

“Why are you such an idiot?” she asked.

“Just the way I am,” I replied.

 

Blurb

On his fifteenth birthday, Monty is at rock bottom. Ignored by his parents, bullied at school, and with a brain that’s prone to going walkabout, he’s all by himself.

Until he meets the black dog for the first time.

It’s just like any other dog, except that only Monty can see it. And it talks. And Monty’s not sure whether it’s a friend – or a foe.

The black dog gets him talking to pretty, popular Eliza Robertson for the first time. It takes him to places he’s never been.

Eventually it will take Monty, and the people around him, to the very edge.

 

Notable achievements

The Children’s Book of the Year Awards: Notable Book

Queensland Literary Awards finalist

Shortlisted for the 2014 Adelaide Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award

 

About the author

Simon Butters is a screenwriter in film and television, living in the Adelaide Hills with his two hilarious kids, a very busy wife, and a scruffy little dog that definitely doesn’t talk but does do a weird grunt when patted behind the ear. Simon’s credits include Wicked Science, H20 Just Add Water, Maiko: Island of Secrets, and others.

 

We hope you enjoyed this extract from The Hounded. The book is available at our bookshop on 16 Rose Street, Mile End or online.

Discovering William Dobell with Christopher Heathcote

Over the next two weeks we’ll be sharing summaries of and extracts from some Wakefield Press gems, put together by work experience student Maddy. (And yes, we briefly had two Maddys in the office! Never enough Maddys, we say.)

 

Discovering Dobell by Christopher Heathcote

 

Discovering Dobell delves into the riveting, yet humble, narrative of an aspiring artist hailing from New South Wales. Sir William Dobell challenges mediums and pushes the boundaries of his works, captured beautifully in this inspiring text. Although Dobell’s pieces reflect a theme of tragedy and loss, Heathcote is able to draw out the beauty and truly capture the essence of his works. Dobell has the unique ability to adapt his technique when creating the character in subject, seizing the crux of said subject and letting it flourish into his art. This talent allows viewers to really see the emotion and meaning behind his works.
From concepts and sketches to fully developed pieces poured over for months or years, Dobell pursued art until the end of his life. He thrived every second of it.

 

Oil on hardboard, William Dobell

Abstract – Three figures (1960, detail)

 

About the author/book:

Heathcote’s passionate analysis into the world of Sir WIlliam Dobell provides fresh insight to Dobell’s pieces. His exploration of Dobell, among others, prove that he is willing to go in depth to prove to others the gripping true tales of what it takes to become someone. Heathcote’s distinct talent for weaving together a stunning narrative from scraps of knowledge show time and time again that cinderella stories can spring from anywhere.

 

Oil on hardboard, William Dobell

The Torrent (1952)

 

This book is available at our bookshop at 16 Rose Street Mile End or online here.

Happy browsing.

On eagle-eyed librarians and a changing back cover

This is a guest blog by Rhondda Harris and Beth Robertson on the very intriguing case of Ashton’s Hotel’s new back cover …

 

Ashton's Hotel by Rhondda Harris, original front and back cover

Original full cover for Ashton’s Hotel

Ashton's Hotel by Rhondda Harris, new front and back cover

New full cover for Ashton’s Hotel

 

From Rhonda Harris, author of Ashton’s Hotel:

Why the new back cover? Well, a bit of detective work by the State Library of South Australia (SLSA) has changed everything. The photograph of William Baker Ashton originally gracing the back cover of my book Ashton’s Hotel: The journal of William Baker Ashton, first governor of Adelaide Gaol turns out not to be him after all! And I was so happy when I found it.

 

Ashton's Hotel by Rhondda Harris, original back cover image

Original image from the back cover of Ashton’s Hotel

The more famous images of William Baker Ashton are some beautiful paintings by Henry Glover dated c. 1850, however Ashton’s journal was written in 1839–1845 so I was looking for something earlier. I first saw the image on the internet with a date of 1840 and never could find it again or be sure of it in any way, so I was delighted when I saw that along with the Glover paintings, the State Library of South Australia had this one as well, listed as a photograph of ‘William B. Ashton’ and an explanation of his time as governor of the gaol. The date offered was 1854. This was the year he died, but it was obviously a much younger version of the exceedingly wide man Glover depicted in 1850. A drawing of William, also in the SLSA collection, with the beginnings of his stout stature and with a date of 1841 seemed to provide a link to an 1840 date. Not so.

 

Illustration caption: A Governor! ay every inch a Governor!

Drawing of W.B. Ashton

 

Enter Beth Robertson, Manager of Preservation at the State Library of South Australia:

SLSA’s South Australian collections include several hundred thousand photographs. The oldest we have identified so far is a daguerreotype of a group of actors in about 1850. After attending an excellent talk by Rhondda, which included the ambrotype of William with the date 1840, I knew I had to investigate further. I confirmed that the tiny original (only 5.2 x 3.8 cm) is an ambrotype, a photographic technique that was invented in the 1850s. The immutable history of photography means that the image cannot be of William Baker Ashton in his youth, or a contender for the oldest known photograph in the library. I went back to the original accessions record. The photograph was donated to SLSA on 7 November 1958 when it was indeed identified as ‘Portrait of Wm Baker Ashton’. It came from the ‘Estate of late Henry Ashton’. Henry was a son of Henry Hamilton Ashton, 1833–1923, and a grandson of William Baker Ashton. I gather that Henry Hamilton Ashton was at the Victorian goldfields in the mid 1850s. The image could have been taken by a travelling photographer. This would explain the untidy labourer’s clothing as well as the luxurious, untrimmed hair and beard. I wrote to Rhondda after gently breaking the news to her on the phone,

As discussed, I am sorry to raise the likelihood that the photograph held by the State Library at B 25769 identified as William Baker Ashton is of his son Henry Hamilton Ashton.

We are both now in touch with Ashton’s descendants to positively identify the image. Is it Henry Hamilton Ashton? Or is it his older brother William James Ashton, 1830–1893, who was with him at the goldfields? If you know, please get in touch. When we have an answer the catalogue record will be changed, with a nod to the previous identification.

Meanwhile the lovely people at Wakefield Press have come up with a new back cover for Ashton’s Hotel. It is of course stunning and will mean this interesting mistake stops here. Thank you all from the heart.

 

Rhondda Harris

 

Beth M. Robertson

Manager Preservation, State Library of South Australia

www.slsa.sa.gov.au

Special Event: Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries

Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries

Cover of the book

France bewitched Barbara Santich as a student in the early 1970s. She vowed to return, and soon enough she did – with husband and infant twins in tow.

Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries tells the story of the magical two years that followed. Buoyed by naive enthusiasm, Barbara and her husband launched themselves into French village life, a world of winemaking, rabbit raising, cherry picking and exuberant 14 Juillet celebrations.

Here we see the awakening of Barbara Santich’s lifelong love affair with food history, and also a lost France, ‘when the 19th century almost touched hands with the 21st’. Shepherds still led their flocks to pasture each day and, even near the bustling towns, wild strawberries hid at the forest’s edge.

 

 

I drank Normandy farmhouse cider, ate strawberries dipped in red wine then sugar, and tasted truffles and soft goat cheeses for the first time. I returned to Australia inspired to become a food writer.

Join us for the launch of Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries: Two years in France at the Wakefield Press bookshop on Saturday May 5. The afternoon will begin at 2 pm and end at 5pm, with the book being launched by Amanda McInerny early in the afternoon.

Drinks and light nibbles will be provided, and you can enjoy 20% off all Wakefield Press titles (excluding Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries).

Please RSVP by Monday April 30 to maddy@wakefieldpress.com.au

If you are unable to attend the launch, but wish to purchase a copy of the book, you can visit us at our Mile End bookshop or find the book online.

Thanks to Coriole Vineyards and Woodside Cheese Wrights for their kind donations and support of Wakefield Press.

Peat Island: Dreaming and desecration

Book Extract

Peat Island cover

Cover of the book

For just over 100 years an institution for the mentally ill has stood on little Peat Island, in the lower Hawkesbury.

It was decommissioned in 2010; quite empty now, it remains a locked facility just as it had always been. And eerie.

The last residents were dispersed into the wider community. In this, they echoed the fate of the Darkinjung people, original custodians of this country – their community was scattered just as intentionally, and effectively, if not quite so brutally. It is not one of the New South Wales government’s finest accomplishments.

For all the unhappiness associated with it, Peat Island was home for more than 3000 residents, males only for the first half of its modern history. Over time, it became a happier place, even as the facility itself aged, fell into disrepair, and became a bureaucratic nightmare and a political football.

This is its sorry story.

 

Read an extract:

With the cessation of hospital care at Milson Island, everything devolved to Peat Island; so the hospital became Peat Island Hospital, plain and simple. Nothing whatsoever about identifying its purpose, nothing about mental care. As though not saying what service it performed disguised what in fact it was. Was this another of the Peter Pan episodes, breaking away from the shadows, expunging them?

With that closure, plans were drawn up to modernise the wards on Peat Island. Which is more public service speak. It meant that somehow even more beds had to be fitted in to help with the accommodation. Not everyone from Milson stayed on Peat, though, not by a long shot. Residents were sent here, there and everywhere. In cohesive groups, admittedly, not sprinkled throughout institutions all over the state. But in different directions nevertheless.

One consequence of the dispersal of the patients was that those parents who had taken an interest in the Parents and Citizens Association followed their sons to wherever their new placement was, and as it happened that took away the most active and interested members. Their bimonthly journal, News and Views, ceased. So too did the regular news sheet, The Islander. These had been making a very real difference to the range and quality of experience available to their children, and to the communal spirit of those connected with the hospital; but those who had been most productive had gone their separate ways.

A different kind of dispersal was also under way. It did not involve large numbers, but the Health Department was intent upon returning patients to care in the community – to their parents if that were possible, or to small-scale specialist hostels. That is what Dr Lindsay had been foreshadowing to the parent groups. Cottages with improved plumbing, and warm showers. At least these residents would have their own room, and some privacy. That, it might be recalled, was the way it should have been right from the beginning at Rabbit Island, for precisely that element had been designed into the original arrangement of the wards. But it had never eventuated. The powers that be had ridden roughshod over those enlightened plans. From day one the authorities had failed their own brief.

The dispersal of patients back into the community was not a triumph of rehabilitation, however. Years later David Richmond was quite frank about that. ‘Contrary to the misconceptions of some, a significant exodus from institutional care through bed number reductions had already occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, well before the report, largely to meet budget pressure on the institutions’. Not, it is to be noted, because of an impulse towards humane reform. The bottom line was the budget, not the needs of those in the government’s care. To him and the other bureaucrats they were ‘beds’, not people. Beans to be counted.

The year 1973 was a pivotal one for many people. Minister Jago, for example, forgot to nominate for his own seat, Gordon, in time for the state election. He was replaced as minister by John Waddy, member for Kirribilli for only the next two years; because Waddy resigned when his own constituency denied him preselection.

Jago had set in place a reform which came into effect in that same year, 1973, consequent upon an act passed in parliament in the preceding year. A Health Commission would resume the responsibilities of the Health Department, the Hospitals Commission and the Ambulance Service. Dr Barclay was elevated to the role of Commissioner for Personal Health Services, meaning the combination of mental health and public health. With this ongoing restructuring and renaming, the wonder is that anyone could make sense of what was going on. The endless changes implied instability rather than progressive reform. Nobody seemed quite able to make up their mind. Head Office indeed.

Peat Island: Dreaming and desecration will launch in Sydney on April 29. For more information about the launch, you can get in touch with us here. To purchase the book, visit us in our Mile End book shop or find it online.

Book Extract: Big Rough Stones

Big Rough Stones

front cover of Big Rough Stones

Cover of the book

They surged across King William Street, around and up onto the bronze Boer War horseman at the corner of North Terrace. Ro linked arms with the woman next to her. ‘Take the toys from the boys’, they sang. The hero almost disappeared under a festoon of women, but clung valiantly to his rifle, bronze upper lip stiff. It was his horse who looked most horrified.

Meet Ro at thirty-something. She is committed to cures for every ill from monogamy to orange armpit fungus. Her ambitions are passionate, her energy boundless, her intentions generally good …

Thirty years later, are the edges any smoother?

‘You thought feminism would stop violence against women,’ said Julia. ‘And that would stop war. And stop people trashing the Earth. You tried.’

‘Not alone,’ said Ro modestly. ‘I had help.’

This is a story of community, friendship, sisterhood, and the coming of age that continues all our lives.

Read an extract of Big Rough Stones below.

The Farm

The road was narrower now and soon began to twist. Trees met overhead. Valleys, green with tree ferns, fell away beside the car. They turned off onto a dirt road that became little more than a track through a gap in the towering forest. Gerry stopped the ute in front of a battered wooden gate.

‘I’ll do it,’ said Ro, reaching for the door handle.

‘I’d better. It’s a bit temperamental.’ Gerry jumped out and Ro watched as she unlatched the gate and lifted it slightly so that it could swing. The gate posts stuck out at odd angles. Ro wound down her window and breathed in the late afternoon air, eucalypt, a touch of smoke and a dark coolness that would be mist in the hollows by nightfall.

‘I’ll have to go straight over to Steve’s and see what’s happening with Lark. Might have to borrow Steve’s float to bring her back.’ Gerry looked up at the sky, gauging the angle of the sun. ‘Or maybe wait till morning for that. But I have to go and see. Thought you could stay here and get the fire going. It’ll be cold tonight.’

‘Okay.’

The track wound round the side of a steep hill through orchard trees, bright green against the dark background of the forest. They passed a clutter of sheds and curved round to a cup-shaped hollow in the hillside.

‘Here we are,’ Gerry said, voice nervous. ‘I’m still working on it.’

It was a small fibro shack with a chimney pipe sticking out the top. Nothing was square or symmetrical. On one side a lean-to slid down into an apple tree. On the other side a smaller shack was connected by a roofed-in walkway. All three structures were propped up by tanks. The overall effect was fungal, a strange grey mushroom that had sprung from the hillside and was now subsiding back into it again.

But this was not an abandoned ruin. When Ro looked more closely she could see evidence of loving attention. One side of the main shack had been opened out, the wall replaced with stained glass windows at various heights. In front of the house one of the few flat areas had been paved with old bricks. Garden table and chairs had been painted a neat green.

‘It’s beautiful,’ Ro said, moved by the signs of careful work, prepared to embrace any amount of rustic charm.

Gerry eased the tarp off the back of the ute and lifted their packs out.

‘Dot and Maria live the other side of the hill. There a track to their place further along the road. You’ll see tomorrow.’

The house was not locked. Gerry pointed out a basket of kindling, chopped wood and the old Metters stove.

‘What say you light the stove? I won’t be long,’ she said. ‘Oh, and I’ll bring Hester back. Okay?’

Without waiting for an answer she backed out. Ro heard the engine cough into life and the ute recede up the track. She sank into the one armchair. Hester? She, Ro, must have made a mistake. This wasn’t a seduction scene at all, not with someone called Hester staying here as well. The space was tiny.

Surely she hadn’t made the live-in girlfriend mistake? One of the worst in the available range of seduction mistakes, most of which Ro had made. The very worst was to come on to a woman, assuming she was a dyke, and find she was straight. The discovery of a live-in girlfriend wasn’t as bad as that, but disappointing enough.

Her radar couldn’t be that faulty. She and Gerry hadn’t actually discussed it, but none of the signs pointed to a live-in lover. And everyone she’d asked had spoken of Gerry as if she was single.

Now that she came to think about it, Ro wasn’t sure that she herself had mentioned Sascha. That would have to be dealt with. She dismissed the idea quickly. Tomorrow.

Another thought struck her. Could Hester be a daughter? Ro’s heart sank. That would be worse than anything. Gerry looked an unlikely sort for a mother, but who could tell?

Ro jumped to her feet and pushed open the door of the lean-to. Bathroom. And a window in the right place so that you could sit in the bath and look out into the branches of a tree. A chip heater, but no toilet. Must be outside.

She crossed the main room to the walkway and passed through into the one bedroom. The bed was a chipboard platform on milk crates with a mattress on top. No sign of toys or kids’ clothes. Oh well. She’d find out soon enough.

Big Rough Stones is Margaret’s third book with Wakefield Press. Margaret’s previous novel, The First Week (2013) won the Unpublished Manuscript Award at Adelaide Writers’ Week, and then was shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award, the NSW Premier’s Award and the Onkaparinga People’s Choice Award. In 2014, Wakefield Press published her Fables Queer and Familiar, illustrated by Chia Moan. The ‘Fables’ started out as an online serial and they have also been broadcast around the country as a radio serial.

Join us for the launch of Big Rough Stones by Chia Moan at The Joinery on Friday 13 April from 6pm. If you are unable to attend the launch, but would like a copy of the book, visit us at our Rose street bookshop or find it online.

Book Extract: Kieran Modra

Kieran Modra: The way I see it

Cover of the book

What becomes of a country lad who loves daredevil adventure, only to discover that he is slowly losing his sight?

What courage does it take for him to pursue his dream of becoming an elite athlete representing his country?

Kieran Modra’s inspiring story tells us about a shy country boy in a city boarding school, an adolescent struggling with his identity as he comes to terms with a disability, and the Australian athlete standing atop a dais as he accepts his gold medal.

Read an extract of the book below, where Kieran is struggling with authority and resting on a team trip in Avezzano, Italy.

 

For three years in a row the Australian para-cycling squad trained in Avezzano, Italy. Avezanno once lay on the shores of Lake Fucino, Italy’s largest lake, which was drained in the late 19th century. After the land was reclaimed, the city grew and wide fields became available for cultivation. The city was destroyed in 1915 by possibly the worst earthquake in the history of Italy with 30,000 fatalities. Kevin McIntosh remembers the town with affection:

Avezzano was an outdoor track, a good environment to train and we were welcomed every year by the community. The mayor and the city council would greet us when we arrived. There was always an exchanging of flags and gifts to make it official that we were honoured guests of the town. When we went into town for an ice cream or coffee, it was often free. It was a comfortable environment and there were few complaints, although there were always athletes who made it harder for the other athletes, and for us as coaches and officials.

Needing time to myself, I enjoyed exploring this area, even without permission from the Australian team officials. The only time I could do this was on ‘rest days’. The surrounding mountains are steep and beautiful, with pretty walking trails. I found rest days hard to handle, so at my first camp there, I decided to get up very early and (without telling anyone) take the tandem for a ride by myself. I found a mountain road that went almost straight up and decided that I needed to get to the top. For at least two hours I rode very slowly up the mountain road and after reaching the summit, it was time to descend. Realising that if either the bike or the rider was damaged in any way there would be big trouble, I took it very easy coming down. It was fun riding on the opposite side of the road to our Australian way and I was delighted that no one had missed the tandem or me when I got back to our hotel. The following year I took hiking boots to walk the trails. On another rest day, and without telling anyone, I decided to climb a different mountain. It took hours to get to the base and I started climbing straight up. After four hours I had passed all vegetation and had come to an area of only shale and rock. About to give up, I saw another climber and followed him to the top, where we rang the bell on the summit. From the top we could see a severe storm approaching, so to get down quickly my new friend took me down the dangerous shale side, where we ran and slid our way to the bottom in about 20 minutes. It was exhilarating, and thankfully the friendly climber returned me to our hotel by car. Although very sore, I tried not to show it, and being a rest day, I thought my coach hadn’t missed me. But the story got out when I showed the video that I took of my escapade to ‘friends’ and the masseurs noticed all my scratches and bruises and began asking questions!

Kieran’s coach had missed him:

There was a balance in getting Kieran to do what he needed to do, and stopping him from doing what he wanted to do. A good example is the way Kieran treated the recovery days. These are critical and after one recovery day in Italy I went to have a chat. It went like this:

‘Kieran … how was your day off yesterday? I didn’t see you around. Did you spend most of it in bed?’

(After a short pause.) ‘Yeahhhhh.’

‘Tell me more. I can’t see you staying in bed all day. Did you go for a walk?’

‘Yeahhhh.’

‘Oh, where did you go? Did you walk into town?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Maybe further?’

(Silence.)

‘Kieran, I know where you went!’

If ever you get to see the video, it is clear that Kieran didn’t slide down the mountain … more like rolled down it! On the video you see the legs going faster and faster … and then it goes sky … earth … sky … earth … sky … earth. So we had to have a little chat about the recovery process. But at the end of the day he always turned up and performed. Kerry was the complete opposite. She generally did what we asked her to do … but she couldn’t control Kieran either.

Join us for the launch of Kieran Modra: The way I see it on Tuesday April 10 at Lexus of Adelaide from 6 pm. RSVP by April 8 to secure your place at the launch. If you are unable to attend the launch, but would like a copy of the book (RRP $34.95), you can visit us at our Rose street bookshop, or find the book online.

A Royal Murder Extract

A Royal Murder cover

Cover of the book

A macabre murder during the Women’s Australian Open golf tournament at one of Australia’s most prestigious golf courses sees food and wine journalist and amateur golfer Rebecca Keith on the murder trail once more. Fortunately, Rebecca’s sleuthing takes her on a journey of eating and drinking through many of Adelaide’s bars and restaurants. Little does Rebecca know that her visits to nearby Barossa Valley and Kangaroo Island will reveal clues that will become crucial in the hunt for a killer.

A Royal Murder, a light-hearted thriller full of intrigue and betrayal, features a full cast of eccentric characters set against the rich backdrop of South Australia and its lush food and wine culture.

Read an extract of the book below, as our heroine, Rebecca Keith, is first on the scene of a grisly discovery at the Royal Adelaide golf course.

The Adelaide-to-Grange Line

Rebecca had drunk more than she should have. When the phone alarm went off at five o’clock, she had to stop herself from flinging it across the room. She listened to the news and weather on the radio.

She couldn’t face breakfast and instead spent the extra time in the shower.

It was just before seven o’clock as she walked alongside the railway tracks at Royal Adelaide, heading to her position on the second tee. The course was again bathed in a golden glow. Her footsteps left imprints on the fairway still damp from the overnight watering.

Rebecca heard the train’s whistle, signalling it was about to pull off from the Seaton Park station. She could hear the ding of the boom gates. Within a couple of minutes, she saw the train in the distance as it emerged from the bushes by the fence line and started its journey alongside the fairway. Rebecca was surprised when she heard the train’s whistle again. It startled her. Something was wrong. The train only whistled as it approached walk-crossings on the golf course, and it wouldn’t be approaching one for a few hundred metres. It shouldn’t be sounding its whistle now, nor should it be putting on its brakes. She could tell by the screeching that the train was stopping hard. Rebecca looked along the tracks and spotted a large red duffle-like bag sitting squarely in the train’s path. There wasn’t enough time to stop. She watched as the red bag was flung aside, rolled down the embankment, and came to rest just on the edge of the fairway.

Rebecca stood up and started to jog toward the train. Before she reached it, the driver jumped out of the cab and ran toward the red bag. He looked distressed. Within moments, Rebecca was standing next to him and they were both looking at a bloodied, severed arm lying a couple of metres from the torn bag. The duffle bag appeared to be made from expensive silk, embossed with what Rebecca thought was Chinese calligraphy. She was in no doubt the rest of the body was in the bag. The protruding bloodied leg was a giveaway.

‘Oh my God,’ moaned the train driver as he lowered himself to a crouch on the ground, resting his head in his hands. Rebecca was pretty sure whoever was in the bag was dead, but she needed to know for certain. She walked up to it, undid the drawstring at the top, and gently lowered the silk to uncover the victim’s lacerated face. Rebecca stared. The glazed lifeless eyes appeared to be gazing up to the sky. Rebecca not only knew the victim was dead, she also knew who it was.

The first in the series, The Popeye Murder

Join us at the Beetson Lounge at Grange golf club at 1.00 pm on Tuesday 13 February for the launch of A Royal Murder, in conjunction with the re-release of the first Rebecca Keith mystery, The Popeye Murder. If you cannot attend the launch, but would like to purchase a copy of the books, they can be found on our website, coming soon!