Posts Tagged ‘Melbourne’

Bright lights. Curtain calls. A cruel and unsuspected murder

Saturday, May 16th, 2020

 

The Final Act 
The Straton Trilogy Book 1
by F. R. Merrill
Genre: Suspense
Bright lights. Curtain calls. A cruel and unsuspected murder
What is the price of success, and are you willing to pay that price? These are questions F.R. Merrill poses in her debut novel, The Final Act, a thrilling work of suspense set in Broadway.
F.R. Merrill takes us into the life of an assistant producer, Faith Straton who is just one step from bringing her Native American production to Broadway. As she inches closer to her dream, however, things start falling apart. A friend is lost forever, and Faith Straton discovers she is a target for murder.
A professional storyteller and short story writer of more than 15 years, F.R. Merrill’s first novel promises to be a gripping page-turner that’ll not only entertain and thrill readers, but also enthrall them with fascinating insights into Native American culture. The author’s mastery and understanding of human nature and motivations arms the book with all the necessary elements to be a memorable and touching read with valuable life lessons that we can apply to our own lives.
The Final Act will have you confronting many of the most difficult questions that plague our times – from the value of financial success and popularity to the importance of other people in our lives. It’s certain to earn a spot as one of the most meaningful and most enriching books to be published this year.
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Crossroads
The Straton Trilogy Book 2
Mountain ranges, Ocean Breezes, And Revenge
Seven women come together to journey across Spain. Unsuspected, one member arrives with hatred in her heart and revenge is her only mission.
Lives are threatened, emotions peaked, and miracles abound on this physically demanding hike over 550 miles of Spain’s most beautiful countryside.
This story will appeal to ages 16 to 70 who enjoy stories of determination, travel, history, and suspense.
Note: Characters from a previous book mature in this book. The title of that book is THE FINAL ACT, From Woodstock to Broadway. It too is a short read. 
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Murder in Mosaic
The Straton Trilogy Book 3
ROMANCE, THE ART OF MOSAICS, AND BETRAYAL
As an unpublished manuscript, MURDER IN MOSAIC won in the Amsterdam Book Festival. The third in the Straton trilogy, before Amanda Straton entrenches into a new life in Florida, she takes time to visit her parents and a friend in Washington, D.C. Then it’s off to Italy to study mosaics. Unprepared she faces the dark force that pursued her in her youth. Evil returns with a vengeance. At the end, the ultimate question that remains, who will pay evil’s demands?
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F. R. Merrill, author of the Straton Trilogy) The Final Act, Crossroads, and Murder in Mosaic, and storyteller since 1993 bases her stories on adventures from cycling across the U.S. in several directions, cycling the Almafi Coast, cycling from Vienna to Budapest, cycling the Himalayas in Bhutan, and more. She hiked the Camino Del Norte in Spain in 2006, and since childhood has always painted and sculpted. She’s devoted to studies relating to her Native American heritage, and spiritual understanding.
Merrill is married, lives in Melbourne, Fl., assists The Special Spotlight Theater, (helping the challenged build pride through dance), and is a member of the Florida Historical Society, Brevard Cultural Alliance, and Zonta International (fighting against human trafficking).
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To this day, there is no doubt that a large number of bodies remain under the market carpark, but the exact number seems somewhat debatable

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY

Absent Shadows Trilogy: Destiny, Sacrifice & Deception

This YA paranormal romance trilogy takes place (predominantly) in Melbourne, Australia but also in the San Francisco Bay Area. The story is completely fictional; however the Melbourne settings are real locations which are some of the oldest parts of Melbourne, namely the Queen Victoria Market and the Flagstaff Gardens.

 

I’d like to share with you a bit of the history of this part of Melbourne so you will understand what inspired me to write this story about ghosts and vampires set in this area.

 

~~***~~

 

A few years ago, I was working in Melbourne around the corner from the Queen Victoria Market, which is not far from the Flagstaff Gardens. One day while out walking at lunchtime, I started sensing that the area was the perfect setting for a story about ghosts and vampires. There had been a strong resurgence in the popularity of vampires and ghosts, and I’d always been keenly interested in both. In fact, I’d done a late night ghost tour through the area just a few years earlier. It was on this ghost tour that I first learned the history of the cemetery under the market’s carpark.

When I set out to write the story, I decided to do a bit of research on the area. Of course I headed straight to Google and WIKIPEDIA. I read numerous accounts of the market and the gardens, and although not everything I read was consistent, it seemed the general consensus was that the area we now call the Flagstaff Gardens was originally referred to as Burial Hill and was the site of Melbourne’s first burials.

 

As Melbourne grew, the Melbourne Cemetery was built in the area that is now the Queen Victoria Market. This cemetery was used from 1837 until the early 1850’s. Then, in the early 1850’s, what is now referred to as the Melbourne General Cemetery was built.

In the early 1900’s there were plans to expand the Queen Victoria Market, so a number of bodies (approximately 900) were exhumed from the Old Melbourne Cemetery and relocated to other cemeteries. However poor records, deterioration of headstones and numerous other factors prevented the remaining bodies from being exhumed.

To this day, there is no doubt that a large number of bodies remain under the market carpark, but the exact number seems somewhat debatable. Some accounts suggested that there were originally over 10,000 bodies in the Old Melbourne Cemetery. However, another report suggests that due to a fire in 1864 which destroyed early records, the 10,000 bodies cannot be verified. So the question remains; are 9,000+ bodies still there today? Or is it a lesser number?

Regardless of the exact number, there is no argument that not all the bodies were exhumed. Therefore, when you walk across the carpark, you are walking over the top of thousands of bodies that reside as little as six feet below.

Now, with the Melbourne City Council in the midst of massive redevelopment plans for the area, the controversy lives on.

You can read all about the history by simply Googling “Old Melbourne Cemetery”. It makes for some very interesting reading, indeed.

 

 

THE BOOKS:

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

 

 

Series Description:

Set in one of the oldest parts of Melbourne, Australia, the Absent Shadows Trilogy is the story of nineteen year-old Lili McIntyre who decides to trade her California summer for a mid-winter visit to Australia in hope of finding inspiration and direction in the country where her father was born.

 

But when she arrives in Melbourne, the first thing she finds is the last thing she’s looking for—a brooding man who makes her heart race every time she sees him. Against her better judgement, Lili finds herself drawn into a relationship that tests her very beliefs about life, reality and fantasy.

 

As the story progresses, Lili must learn how to follow her destiny as she faces some of the hardest decisions of her life, makes incredible sacrifices, and encounters deception from places where it is least expected.

 

Follow Lili’s journey across the Pacific Ocean as she travels from the San Francisco Bay Area to Melbourne, and all across Australia.

 

Destiny Excerpt:

 

Sometimes, when something bad happens, time seems to slow to a crawl.

Like that time I was running to visit my friend who lived down the street. I was only about ten at the time, but it seemed like it was yesterday. I remember exactly how it felt as I ran down that street toward her house. And how, when I was only part way there, I stepped on an acorn and my foot rolled out from under me. As I fell, the pavement got closer and closer to my face—in horrible slow-motion. I hit the ground with my hands stretched out in front of me, scraping the skin off both palms. They barely bled but man they hurt like crazy.

Yes, I could replay that memory like a slow-motion movie in my head even now—years later.

But this … well, this wasn’t like that.

What happened next was like a series of still photos. Tom flew out of the bedroom in a blur, but stopped just long enough for the image of his face to be burnt into my mind. His eyes were no longer soft brown, but were instead a glowing red, and his normally tanned complexion was now pallid grey. But what really stood out was the blood that ran down from the corner of his mouth.

Then I heard Sam’s voice—loud and harsh. ‘Go!’

Tom was gone and I heard the door slam.

I closed my eyes for no more than a long blink—it couldn’t have been more than a second—but when I opened them, Sam was in the bedroom, bending over Claire. Was he doing something to her neck? She was so still.

I ran to the doorway but stopped short of going in. I couldn’t draw a breath to scream or talk. I just stood there, frozen.

 

About the Author:

 

S M Spencer was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

 

As a young teenager her mother introduced her to the world of romantic suspense by encouraging her to read the works of authors such as Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. These books stirred a passion in her that would last a lifetime—to become a writer.

 

Feeling the need to experience life before embarking on a writing career, Ms Spencer completed a business degree. Her career eventually landed her in Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived ever since. Yet her true passion to be a writer never abated.

 

SM Spencer now writes from her home in the outskirts of Melbourne, where she lives with her husband, horses, cats and dogs.

 

 

All of Ms Spencer’s books can be found on Amazon –

www.amazon.com/S-M-Spencer/e/B00PGE0G9U

 

 

Unless lifeliners rise up and fight for their rights, they can expect sterilization, incarceration, and possible extermination

Sunday, September 1st, 2019
Lifeliners
by
Stefan Vucak
Genre:
Science Fiction
 
When
everybody is against them, it is tough being a lifeliner, as Nash
Bannon found out. Lifeliners are ordinary people…almost. They can
draw energy from another person; they live longer and are smarter.
Scientists claim that Western high-pressure living and growing
sterility in developed countries has triggered the rise of
lifeliners, and homo sapiens will replaced by homo renata within ten
generations. So, what’s not to like about lifeliners? Protest
marches by extremist groups, riots, attacks against lifeliners,
repressive laws enacted by governments everywhere, were portents of a
dark future. Young, successful, Nash Bannon did not like what was
going on, but he thought he had the world at his feet and life in
Australia was good, provided no one found out he was a lifeliner. A
chance encounter with Cariana during a lunchbreak develops into
something he considered important. The Australian government calls a
snap election, and Nash stands as a Senate candidate on the Lifeliner
Party ticket. Unless lifeliners rise up and fight for their rights,
they can expect sterilization, incarceration, and possible
extermination as democracies everywhere turn into autocracies. To
survive, the Lifeliner Party must employ the same dirty tricks the
government used against them, but they were not prepared for what
awaited them.
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Stefan
Vucak has written eight Shadow Gods Saga sci-fi novels and six
contemporary thrillers. He started writing science fiction while
still in college, but didn’t get published until 2001. His Cry of
Eagles won the coveted Readers’ Favorite silver medal award, and his
All the Evils was the prestigious Eric Hoffer contest finalist and
Readers’ Favorite silver medal winner. Strike for Honor won the gold
medal.

 

 

Stefan
leveraged a successful career in the Information Technology industry,
which took him to the Middle East working on cellphone systems. He
applied his IT discipline to create realistic storylines for his
books. Writing has been a road of discovery, helping him broaden his
horizons. He also spends time as an editor and book reviewer. Stefan
lives in Melbourne, Australia.

 

 

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