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More Special Reviews from Wonderful Authors

In the last week or so A DROP IN THE OCEAN has been getting many great reviews on Netgalley and two more humbling endorsements from two of my most favourite authors, Robin Black and Barbara Claypole White. I have of course added them to my other endorsements from generous authors under Reviews, but wanted to share NOW! These authors take so much time to first read and then write an endorsement when they are all completely overloaded themselves with deadlines for their current book and all the marketing stuff that f goes with it (apart from their normal lives...) And I added the final sentences of a review from "For The Love of Books" (one of the many Netgalley book reviewers) because I really love it!

"This is a quietly majestic book, taking on quests for identity, for connection, for love, for self - always with dignity and with an impressive breadth of understanding. Like the turtles whose lives and habits are tracked in these pages, the characters at the heart of A Drop In The Ocean move gently but with enormous consequence. Here is a book to lose oneself in - and then share, enthusiastically, right away."
—Robin Black, bestselling author of Life Drawing and Crash Course: 52 Essays From Where Writing and Life Collide.

"A novel about turtles, the fragility of life, and the complexity of love, A Drop in the Ocean will transport you to remote islands with its lyrical natural imagery. This is a story to savor, discuss, and share.”
—Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son

"I fell in love with the island and with Tom myself, but those turtles. Oh, those turtles, I wanted to quit my day job and head to Australia to do everything I could to protect those magnificent, wise creatures.”
—For the Love of Books  Read More 
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Festivals and the love of books

Nicky Pellegrino and Jenni Ogden in conversation at the Waiheke Literary Festival, November, 2015.

Writers and Readers festivals are pure bliss for those of us who love books. I have been to many throughout the world; in fact if we are traveling anywhere I check out book festivals (and music and wine and food festivals) in case by tweaking our dates we can go to more. I think it is the buzz of being in the midst of so many others who love the same things as you do. But NZ hosts festivals every bit as wonderful as overseas festivals. I particularly love the Auckland Writers Festival, which is massive but incredibly well-organised and very friendly. World-class writers (including world class NZ and Australian writers) are guest speakers, and this year they sold over 63,000 tickets to events. WOMAD NZ in the beautiful New Plymouth is a wonderful weekend of music from many countries in a fabulous atmosphere and held in an incredible venue.  Read More 
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Cover Reveal! My new novel...

Getting one's cover for one's new novel (especially one's debut novel!) has to be one of the best moments in one's writing life. Here is the cover for A Drop In The Ocean, not out until May, 2016, but I'll remind you again then, no doubt! Here is a brief "back cover" description.

"On her 49th birthday, Anna Fergusson, Boston neuroscientist and dedicated introvert, arrives at an unwanted crossroads when the funding for her research lab is cut. With her confidence shattered and her future uncertain, on impulse she rents a cabin for a year on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. But Turtle Island, alive with sea birds and nesting Green turtles, is not the retreat she expected. Here she finds love—for the eccentric islanders who become her family; for Tom, a laid-back turtle researcher; and for the turtles whose ancient mothering instincts move her to tears. But Anna finds that even on her idyllic drop in the ocean there is pain, and as the months fly past her dream for a new life is threatened by a darkness that challenges everything she has come to believe about the power of love.

Evocative and thought-provoking, A Drop in the Ocean is a story about second chances and hard lessons learned in the gentlest of ways.  Read More 
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Newsflash! The Rest Of Her Life.

Yah! My first novel will be published in April, 2016, by US Publisher, She Writes Press. Its working title is THE REST OF HER LIFE and here is a preview of the book description.

A novel about love, sea turtles, and an unthinkable choice

Too young to retire and too old for a career change. That’s the conundrum that faces Anna Fergusson—Boston neuroscientist and dedicated introvert—when on her forty-ninth birthday her Huntington's Disease research funding is ripped from under her. Will renting a cabin for a year on a coral island on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef give her the space to decide what comes next? Turtle Island—alive with sea birds, nesting Green turtles, and eccentric islanders—is a world of its own, and Anna is enchanted. Here she finds a family, and the motivation to mend her relationship with her mother when she reluctantly journeys to Unst in Shetland, the island on the far side of the world that has captured her mother's heart. But back on her own idyllic drop in the ocean Anna discovers there is still pain, and as the months fly past, her dream for a new life is threatened by a darkness that challenges everything she has come to believe about the power of love.

Evocative and thought-provoking, The Rest Of Her Life brings home the potent message that it is never too late to embrace life’s second chances.

Publisher: She Writes Press, USA. Publication date: April, 2016 Read More 
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Wild Dogs

Saw two different packs of Wild Dogs in Botswana, and one group decided to sleep under a tree within metres of our tent.
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John saw over 200 birds, many spectacular, that he had never seen before (and he is an avid birder, twitcher, whatever). I saw them too! This Giant Kingfisher we spotted while being punted along the Choebe river near Kasane in Botswana, was one of them.
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Masai Mara (and we did see two crossings during the Great Migration in Masai Mara)
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Good Mama

Another photo...
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When I first set up this website, I mentioned African safaris as one of the things to do after "retirement" from one's long-time career. I had been to South Africa and to two amazing private game parks before, but had a long-time desire to go on a camping safari. Last month John and I camped in Kenya, and Botswana and also spent a week at Kruger, and a couple of days at Victoria Falls. Phenomenal!  Read More 
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