Category: Featured

Whistler’s Bones

Whistler’s Bones

Front Cover

Want to know what it was really like on the Australian Frontier?

Whistler’s Bones is the story of a fifteen-year-old boy who rode away from his home in Bendigo in 1880, looking for a life of adventure. Within a few months he was droving with Nat Buchanan across the Gulf Track to the Territory. At just seventeen he joined the Durack family’s epic cattle drive from Cooper’s Creek to the Kimberleys. A stockman for most of his youth, he also hunted for gold at Hall’s Creek, and for pearls on the coast north of Broome. He fought in the Boer War, and travelled the world when travelling was hard.

Based on a true story, this is an Australian yarn like no other. No holds barred. Adventure. Passion. Romance. And the truth of our violent frontier like you’ve never read it before.

I’m delighted to announce the release of Whistler’s Bones: A Novel of the Australian Frontier. This story has been my main focus for more than two years and I’m very proud of it. I was told by major publishers that it was “too confronting to publish.” I disagree. I think it’s time that this story was told.

The Writing of the Novel

The author stumbled on the story of drover, stockman and adventurer, Charlie Gaunt, when trawling through old newspaper archives. As an old man in the 1930s, Charlie wrote of his experiences in the Territory’s Northern Standard Newspaper. Years of research followed as the author attempted to write Charlie’s biography. Unfortunately there was not enough known about his life, particularly his personal affairs, to make a satisfying book.

The best approach was to combine fiction and fact. In this novel the author has attempted to build Charlie into a complete person, with flaws, desires, relationships and regrets.

Whistler’s Bones is the culmination of that process. Fiction based on fact. An adventure you’ll remember for a long time.

Click here to order the paperback. $19.99 with $3.90 shipping

Or click  here to get it on Amazon.

310 Pages, Trade (large) Paperback.

ISBN: 978-0-6480627-4-5







Rusty’s Tale

Rusty’s Tale

When I first learned that Russell Carrington had written down his yarns and memories I knew that they should be published for posterity. Russ grew up on Planet Downs station, near Burketown, in the very last of the ‘old days’ before mobile phones, internet and modern roads.

Russ grew up surrounded by formidable women and great outback characters — Fiery Ted, Jack Mac, Carney the Cook, and Hussein the hermit, who divided his time between a sandstone cave and a wild Gulf beach.

Russ operated machinery and worked as a ringer, then put himself through flying school, becoming one of the top mustering chopper pilots in Australia’s north. His story is a special one, short and succinct, with no filler, and easily read in one rainy afternoon. It’s also very sad in parts, the truth from start to finish, and I think it deserves a place on every bookshelf.

Here’s the link if you want a copy

Beyond the Big Bend. The story so far …

Beyond the Big Bend. The story so far …

If you’ve lost track or haven’t started reading yet, here’s your chance to catch up in one quick burst. Get this five-minute summary, and next week you’ll be ready to keep reading …

It’s the early 1850s, and just about everyone knows that the Murray River has potential for river traffic. It takes months for drays to bring stores to isolated stations, and sheds full of wool bales wait for transport back to markets. The South Australian Government is prepared to do something about it. They offer a cash reward for the captains of the first two steam boats to not only arrive at the Murray, but travel upstream to the junction with the Darling.

Two men answer the call.

The first is William Randell, from Gumeracha, whose family are firmly entrenched in the local area. William dreams of selling his family’s flour to desperate settlers and squatters up and down the river. With little idea of what they are doing, William and his brothers build their 55-foot Mary Ann in a saw pit in the Adelaide Hills, then assemble it on the banks of the Murray, installing a small beam-type steam engine made in a barn by a German immigrant friend.

William, meanwhile, has fallen for a local girl, Bessie. Her mother has forbidden the relationship on the basis that William, at twenty-nine years, is thirteen years older than her daughter, but he can’t get her out of his mind.

The second man to throw his hat into the ring is Captain Cadell, a sea captain of long experience and a budding entrepreneur with grandiose designs. With the help of wealthy investors, Cadell has his 105-foot Lady Augusta built in a Darling Harbour shipyard, with twin state-of-the-art horizontal steam engines, and accommodation for thirty plus crew.

William has his steamer ready first, and with his brother Tom and a knockabout parson called Reverend Davies, he steams up the Murray towards the Darling junction, past the Big Bend towards Moorundie. Meanwhile Cadell captains his Lady Augusta through the dangerous Murray River bar and collects his crowd of dignitaries and their friends at Goolwa.

Cadell is not a man who takes a challenge lightly, and he has already done his own deal with the SA elite. With the Governor himself on board, Cadell is soon through Lake Alexandrina, and steaming upstream day and night to catch William Randell in his home-made paddle steamer. William is just three days ahead when our story resumes next week!

You’ll find all the episodes in full here.

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