Maria’s story

In 1805 a young convict woman arrived in the colony of Van Diemen’s Land as a servant with her illegitimate baby daughter. Over the next 20 years, she became a leading person of business in the new colony, and the wife of the acting governor.

Plucked out of a line of convict women at the newly built Parramatta Women’s Prison near Sydney, she must have had no idea what awaited her and her then unborn child. Her name was Maria Risely.

Maria’s story reads like a fictional account, yet no fiction could do justice to her life.  See a summary of her true story on Shorthand Social.

cape pillar

(image: Cape Pillar, near the entrance of the River Derwent, Van Diemen’s Land, 1824 by Joseph Lycett, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office)


New Novel: The Hotlands

Welcome to the world of your grandchildren.

lynley4 1600X2400The world is warmer, except in Britain. It has been abandoned by the Gulf Stream as Greenland’s glaciers melt. Trapped in the icy protected suburbs of London, people retreat into digital worlds. Chrys and Ash want more and plan a new life in sunny Melbourne. When their aircraft crashes in the desert, they become swept up in waves of humanity struggling to find a place for themselves in a changing world. Until she meets Chrys and Ash, Jasmine’s world has been a dark one, eking out a fragile existence in mines with hundreds of others replacing the machinery that now lacks fuel. Forced to leave her home, she takes three-year-old Boy south to what they hope will be a better life.