GLOBAL WARMING and other games: The New York based Global Shift Inc., and its joint venture partner, EcoLogic, have been studying the effects of global warming for many decades. EcoLogic grabbed international attention with AtmosFix, a climate change modelling system that makes all competitor products redundant.
EcoLogic scientists make headlines when they predict a global catastrophe is less than six years away. They put forward impressive scenarios to demonstrate massive destruction from rising sea levels.
The Australian government is sceptical about the projections, but it can’t afford to ignore the fact the predictions may be real. The Prime Minister, whilst still unconvinced, agrees to fund a massive relocation plan to help coastal residents move to inland locations. People are reluctant to leave their prime real estate, but when another great tsunami smashes through Asia they begin to accept the threat is genuine.
EcoLogic’s CEO. Claudia McBride, is shocked when Global Shift’s founder, Adam Zelig, claims there are bugs in the software, or someone in the New York office has manipulated data.
Jacob Sawyer, a climate change sceptic, and Solomon Bellingham, the minister for the environment, plan one of the greatest swindles of all times. And a done-deal with a major civil engineering company guarantees Sawyer a kick-back that will set him up for life.
THE ART DEALER: Mix six priceless works of art, a missing dealer, some serious insurance fraud, then throw in a few smart investigators, and what do you get? A fast paced page turner that forces you to take notice.
When six masterpieces went under the Z Block hammer, billionaire, Sam Richards, had no trouble outbidding all the other hopefuls. A few weeks later the paintings were stolen from the Richards’ mansion and insurance fraud is the hot-gossip reverberating through the art world.
Detective Alexandra Miller defies the rulebook when she goes solo to talk to an informer in a part of town where the local currency is gang violence, not precious art works. Miller discovers the paintings are on Sam Richards’ yacht and they are bound for his South Pacific getaway island.
Senior Sergeant Tony Vascelli and Senior Detective, Tim Newman want to know who set the firebomb in the cargo wharf precinct. And the name of the unidentified male seen running from the area. The action driven plot is a race against time to overcome dangerous odds.
SHARK BAIT: Duncan Scott, a successful financial adviser, becomes a prime suspect when his business partner, Jake Collins, is murdered.
Jake’s life passions had been women and gambling. When his debt rocketed to half a million dollars the casino boss, Danny Brewster, applied the blowtorch to get his money back.
Investigators, Tony Vascelli and Tim Newman, swap sleep for heavy duty coffee while they sift through the evidence trail; a blood smeared jacket, matching Jake’s DNA, and a threatening letter sent to him a few days before his death.
Shark Bait demonstrates the past is never erased and all too often earlier events rise from the murky waters to confront people who believed they'd wiped their slate clean.
CONVENIENTLY BLIND: Samantha Beaumont believes in pragmatic philosophy and taking responsibility for her actions. On their wedding night Josh promised her that his life goals would never become more important than hers. In six years Josh's career exploded with success, while motherhood and family responsibilities pushed hers further into the abyss.
Sam didn't really mind because her son, Tom, is was the centre of her world. Being the best wife and mother are her primary goals. Sam believes this is enough to get her through. But she quickly discovered she needs more.
After Sam learns Josh is having an extramarital affair she refuses to accept her marriage is over. Her daily life continues as though nothing has changed. Putting on blinkers allows the couple to re-establish their family unit, however there are fractures in their relationship and the marriage continues to disintegrate. When Josh returns to his lover, Sam realises it’s time for her to move on with her own life. However, the family remains the central pillar of her universe.
Sam is deeply dismayed when history repeats itself in her son’s life, She is desperate to find a way to save her son’s marriage. But she understands she can do nothing to turn things around.
When Sam’s two grandchildren are abducted, she and the family come face-to-face with evil. While the search for the children is being undertaken, the family confronts the horror head-on. As a united group, they demonstrate humans can, and do, find ways to deal with even the most agonising life events. This is a generational story of dreams smashed, love betrayed, and the ultimate power of forgiveness
CORPORATE GIANT: Australian Blue Chip Company, Bradcliff Enterprises, rockets onto the International stage with a discovery that is hailed as the world’s greatest environmental breakthrough.
Senior Researcher and Scientist, Macauley Gray’s world is torn savagely when she befriends Susannah Potter, the mentally disturbed niece of her lifelong friends.
Macauley’s life takes a further battering when she is accused of industrial espionage. Determined to clear her name, she travels to Scotland where she discovers a bizarre connection between the death of Susannah’s mother and stolen Bradcliff documents.
A media-frenzy trial leaves a trail of destruction. Many people will never recover from the mauling, but for the lucky ones, there are surprising new beginnings.
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THE UNIVERSITY: Daniel Jackson worked relentlessly to make his company, Weizmann Pharmaceuticals, one of the most influential in the world. With iron-man will he drove the international expansion programs and spearheaded the push for increased export markets. Weizmann’s wonder drug, ChangedWorld, hurled a tsunami of cash into Jackson’s already exploding bank account.
Winning was everything to Jackson and his trademark strategies were intimidation and bribery. Daniel’s personal fortune is jeopardized when two academics claim ChangedWorld is a modern-day snake oil.
The reputation of one of Australia’s most prestigious universities is attacked when it is linked to Weismann Pharmaceuticals, and the production of deadly Sarin gas for a Middle-Eastern Paramilitary Group. A spectacular cover up has disastrous ramifications for Jackson and the Vice-Chancellor.
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The RUSTIC CABIN
Most Australians believed it could never happen here. They were wrong! The country was invaded by a hostile enemy, and hundreds of innocent people were slaughtered, their homes firebombed and towns and villages totally destroyed.
The seventh-generation Shaw family, followed the example of Stan and Dulcie Harrison, and left their northern-rivers town to flee to the high-country, where they hoped to create a new life in a rustic cabin the family had built many years earlier. For twelve-year old, Luke, and ten-year old, Sarah, it’s a magical place. For the adults it’s a safe haven.
Months later, when Mike Deekie and his fifteen-year old son, Charlie, stumble upon the tiny community, they’re viewed with suspicion and distrust. Over time their exceptional contribution, removes all doubt about their loyalty, and they become dynamic members of the group.
Nella Shaw and Mike, both former Special Ops soldiers, join a small resistance movement that is fighting to rid the country of the barbaric aggressors. When Nella is captured, and tortured, by one of the terrorists her militia colleagues vow revenge.
Twenty years later, Sarah and Luke, both highly regarded ASIO officers, foil a terrorist attack that was planned to be executed during morning peak-hour, in Sydney’s Central railway station.
By clinging to the rear of a commuter train, one of the terrorists escaped, but was injured in the process. From blood samples collected at the scene, the Australian Federal Police prove the fugitive is the person who tortured their mother two decades earlier.
With the help of the freedom-fighters, Sarah and Luke follow every movement the torturer makes; leading them from the area around their childhood home, to an enemy training camp in the Simpson desert.
DOES THE TITLE SUIT THE STORY?
The Critical Readers and I had a long discussion about the name. Some thought it suited well, while a few were unsure. However, when I explained my reason for choosing the name, they all agreed it's perfect.
The title, The Rustic Cabin was chosen because for those living on the plateau, the cabin was a safe harbour. It was where Nella and Mike returned to find peace and harmony.
The highland people worked hard to protect and care for their tiny community, and everyone living in it. The cabin provides a direct link with family history. And it helps the current generation to stay in touch with the values and beliefs of their ancestors.
The cabin is a metaphor for
everything the characters hold dear.