December 2022 Chilling with Books Corner, spotlights and Joseph in Melbourne

For the end of this year, I am spotlighting some of the wonderful people I have been privileged to spotlight not only over the current year but since I started blogging. If you are wondering why I start with Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat then you will have to read further down. Yes, I wanted your attention.

Photo by Mwabonje on

It would be remarkably easy to lose positivity with the way the world is around us. However, what has kept me going is the hard work, the dedication, and the cleverness of the people I interact with. I am not brilliant with media yet despite this I have managed to engage with talented people who enjoy sharing their work and themselves, and who find time to encourage others. They may not be iconic but in their way they are inspiring and that matters to me. I couldn’t fit them all in so I did a random lottery in a hat. Crazy I know but choosing was difficult.

Rather than repeating myself, I am providing links to the relevant posts. There you will find links to their social media and websites and their books. Throwing a spotlight on previous spotlights seemed to me, a very good idea and I liked the thought of revisiting. My only complaint is wishing I could have done all of them. Perhaps next year?



 Kathryn Graham              C R Alam              Julia Blake              Caroline Noe            

Bekah Berge                    Shayla Raquel        Penelope Daniels     Jill Staunton

 Kirsty McManus            Julia DeBarrioz Becky Wright        L J Kendall            

Diana Plater McKenna Dean       Jillian Webster

And podcaster Claudine Tinellis

My books

My edits are going slower than I would like but then again, I have not been on top of things this year. I am hoping the new year settles a few issues and that I will have another two books out by mid-year. Both Unexpected Passion and Unexpected Celebrations have been patient with their creator long enough.

The world around me

Last month I mentioned a little about my days in Melbourne. I am still thinking about it and how those few days really left an impression not just of the city but how I view things. For instance, I miss being able to walk out my door, hop on a bus and roam the inner city of Sydney and now in addition I miss the same about Melbourne. Don’t get me wrong I like where I live despite the humidity, but I love the freedom a big city offers to just roam. I am a traveller at heart, but I don’t have to go far. I simply need to know I can walk around and see things, especially architecture. Any travel opens our eyes. I write romantic drama, but travel has always been a big part of my life – it is where I learned how similar we actually are despite the distance of geography.

I decided to try my hand at a small video. Don’t ask why because I suck at media but I kept it simple and focussed on the National Library. Subsequently I inspired myself for next time when I will try for better. I do believe practice make perfect. The National Library (I had tears in my eyes at the sheer beauty of this building) and the Regent Theatre are two stunning pieces of architecture. I have made a vow to get some better photos next trip particularly of the Regent. With this in mind I have also included the last few minutes of Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Regent Theatre as the audience was given permission to video the finale. For some inexplicable reason, Melbourne is a wonderful place for live shows. Most of the big cities have fantastic theatres but Melbourne has a way of making you feel special. However, if someone wants to give me free tickets and free travel to somewhere else in Australia I am open to changing my mind.

For those unfamiliar with the stage production, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (often colloquially known as Joseph) is a musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it is based on the character of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. The all-star Australian cast featured Paulini as The Narrator (fabulous), Euan Fistrovic Doidge as Joseph (awesome) and Shane Crawford as Pharaoh (a delight) and a host of others including some very talented children. Here’s hoping you enjoyed my videoing talents.

Anyway, Melbourne imprinted. Warning: Technology is not one of my strong points (actually I still have to work out what my strong points are) and I did say I sucked at media.

Books I’ve read

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows)

I hated coming to an end the first few times I read this book and it proved no different when I reread the book this time around. The author is a weaver of thoughts and actions through the clever use not only of words but of writing formats. Letters and telegrams bring to life an unknown part of the Second World War on an equally unknown island, at least to most of us. The beautiful flow of words emphasises the goodness of people alongside the very worst in a firm yet gentle manner and it leaves an impression. A beautiful read.

Who do you think you are Maggie Pink (Janet Hoggarth)

The characters in this book are ordinary people and it allows the reader to relate to the unfolding story. Loss, grief, dreams, bad decisions, and finally good decisions and how what we do, what we think, has a profound effect on the lives of those around us is real life. Is the ending a little too neat? Or is the truth that we complicate our lives when we really don’t have to?
Beautifully written and a well thought out plot dealing with some extremely sensitive issues made this a wonderful read. 

Films I watched

Fried Green Tomatoes

I am currently reading the book but I have to say that Kathy BatesMary-Louise Parker and Jessica Tandy are wonderful in this as are the supporting artists. Normally the changeover lacks the impact of the book, and this book leaves us pondering many things so we approach the film with trepidation. However the film does not disappoint. The change Kathy Bates undergoes as her character starts thinking outside her head is as much physical as it is mental, and as important to the story as the two women the book introduces. When a film connects this much then which is better, film or book, doesn’t really matter.

Have a wonderful holiday season but I will put out a brief post closer to Christmas (2 sleeps, well in Australia).


If you are feeling kindly disposed, please feel free to check out my books. I would love some more input on Unexpected Obsession before I release Unexpected Passion. Links below.

Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. A like and a comment will keep me working harder and if by any chance you have read my books or a book I have featured then please leave a review on Goodreads or wherever you originally purchased the book. It helps writers learn to be better writers.

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  1. Pingback: Chilling with Books Corner, changes, and inspiration - Barbara Strickland - Author & Blogger

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