4 September 2019

Challenging Mountains (Settlers Book 3)


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5 stars “A Journey through History” Reviewed by Rosemary Morris

Some of the characters in Mystic Mountains and Distant Mountains feature or are mentioned in Challenging Mountains the third novel in the Settlers series set in 1840 in the colony of New South Wales. The colony is expanding now that convicts are no longer transported to the East Coast, and free squatters settle on lands between Sydney and Port Philip in the south.

Tim is bored by his position in a government office. Jo, whose parents were killed at the gold mines by bush rangers, is equally bored with her life. When Tim is about to leave for Port Philip with his Uncle Carlos, Jo, dressed as a boy, accompanied by Billy, a native, who wants to find his family, arrives. She is determined to join them and insists she can cope with the month-long-journey, says she has enough money for her needs and that Billy, who promised her father to look after her, will be an asset. In search of adventure and a new life in Port Philip, a new settlement, they set out. Jo thinks she can take care of herself. She ignores Tim’s advice about avoiding predatory males. “Despite Jo’s, at times, stubborn ways, she is a beautiful, talented woman.” Tim cannot decide if he wants to marry her. “There were times when he thought Jo was wise beyond her years. In comparison he was like a green youth. Then again she would offer him challenges he would relish.”

The author introduced me to the history of New South Wales, which I knew little about. She also took me on an interesting journey from place to place, during which the characters encountered ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’. After na├»ve Jo, dressed as a young man, is assaulted, they are deserted by their wagon master and his team. From then on, they encounter almost naked natives, are attacked by bushrangers, make dangerous river crossings and are horrified by a murder. Halfway to Port Philip, they no longer think of their expedition across challenging mountains as an adventure.
When I reached the end of Challenging Mountains, I was completely satisfied and, with regret, parted with Tim and Jo.

4 stars   “An Era's Ending”   Janet Walters
20 August 2019 - Published on Amazon.com

“I enjoyed reading the final book in this trilogy about the mountains of Australia. Both the hero and heroine bring different challenges to the story. Along with their adventure, the hero's uncle has his own challenges. Reading about the frontier days in Australia showed me many things I didn't learn in school about this wide and varied land. The heroine and hero both have strength and courage.”

4 stars Long and Short Reviews.

This book was an easy read and was also an interesting look at the history of New South Wales. I loved the characters – it reminded me a bit of watching an old TV show. I could see the action taking place in my mind’s eye.

I absolutely loved Jo (well, there were times near the end of the book I wanted to shake her…but I don’t want to give away any plot points, but I was disappointed in her then). She knew what she wanted, and she wasn’t shy about going after it. She had spunk.

I did get aggravated the way Tim kep calling her a wench. It seemed rude, but for the time and area it might not have been. I knew he didn’t mean anything by it.. after all, they had been friends for years, but I grated on my nerves just a big. But, that’s just me and probably wouldn’t bother anyone else.


I enjoyed this book so much, I want to now go back and read the two earlier books in the series. Good job, Ms. McGill!

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10 August 2019

Short excerpt from Challenging Mountains Settlers Book 3

Available from many online retailers
He’d had many conversations in the past with Jo, but now Tim was seeing another side to her. Her beliefs so mirrored his own he was startled. “I think your mother was a wise woman, was she not?” he asked.

A small smile of reminiscence crossed her face as she nodded. “My father also was a knowledgeable man.” She sighed deeply. “If they had not been transported for stupid petty thievery the pair would have ended up in a much different situation.”

“So, how is it they became miners if they were intelligent well-educated folk?”

“That is the sorriest part of their tale. Father became obsessed by the stupid idea of gaining wealth the easy way.” The small sound of disgust she made displayed her opinion of this foolhardy venture. “As my mother told me, he met a man while working out at the sheep-yards, and this person convinced my father that all he had to do was go off into the mountains and gold was waiting there for any man with the strength and will to search for it.” She shrugged. “So as soon as both gained their tickets of leave, off he dragged her. I think she adored him, and that is why she endured such a hard life. I will never make the mistake of loving a man with such brainless ideas.”

Tim let out a harrumph. “Foolish girl. I have been told that love is blind, and when it strikes there is little you can do but go along with it. She gave birth to you and obviously loved you even though she let you run wild and behave more like a young larrikin than a respectable woman of breeding.”

“Hah! No thank you—I would never wish to be a primping simpering female of breeding. Have you observed how the so-called high-class ladies behave in town? And their Mamas!” She made a rude sound in her throat. “When I decide to marry, supposing I ever do, it will be with the man of my choice and not some moneybags chosen by a parent—or in my case, an uncle who cares little for me and more for amassing wealth. Why, he was already suggesting likely husbands for me as soon as I passed my seventeenth birthday. All of them many years my senior.” Another rude sound emphasised her opinion of that.

“Well, you are a free woman now it appears—and soon will be far away from him and any decisions he could have made for your future,” Tim said. What a sad life she had endured to date, even though her parents obviously loved her in some strange way. “It must have been horrific for you when they were killed.” Tim knew she did not like talking about that fateful day but she seemed in a talkative mood right now, so he ventured the question.

For a while, she stared into the distance without speaking. “I still wake at night with nightmares,” she said. 
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12 July 2019

Book three in my Settlers series now available

Find buy links to all my books here on my BWL author page 

Challenging Mountains (Settlers Book 3)

By 1840 the colony of New South Wales was expanding. Transportation of convicts to the east coast ended, and many free squatters set out to settle on lands to the south. In 1836, the Government in London authorised Governor Bourke to establish a settlement in The Port Philip District of New South Wales, and an Association was formed to make the district a separate colony.
Timothy, Tiger and Bella Carstairs eldest son has turned 21. Bored with his Government job and intent on seeking adventure and a new life away from Sydney, Tim decides to journey south in an endeavour to find this adventure, accompanied by his Uncle Carlos. Where else to find it, but in a newly formed settlement. 
In the 1840s the road south might not be as hazardous as the one across the mountains travelled by his parents when he was a child, but the month long journey overland holds many dangers and challenges to be faced. Escaped and ex-convicts seek the easy life by forming gangs to take what they can where they can. Forced to fight off the intruders who take claim to the land they have cared for over many, many generations, the Indigenous people are faced with many trials and battles of their own.
Not the least of Tim’s personal challenges is a young headstrong woman who, uninvited, takes it upon herself to join him on his travels.  When they reach their destination, their troubles have only just begun.

Available in eBook and Print at your favourite bookstore:

Distant Mountains (Settlers Book 2)

Even in the prospering colony of New South Wales, it would be far-fetched to think a convicted man could consider marrying the daughter of a wealthy property owner.
But Remy has larger problems to contend with than Sara’s bigoted father. Forced to leave the woman he loves behind, Remy faces overwhelming odds and an ordeal that threatens to strip him of everything; his pride, his strength, his health—even his life.

Sara has many struggles of her own and when Remy finally thinks he has a future with Sara within his grasp, he is sent to a place where pain and suffering are everyday occurrences. Will the lovers ever find true happiness?

"This story had me riveted from page one. The historical facts ring true and add veracity to Remy’s tale. The characters all come alive and the descriptions of places and events and people pulled me into the story and immersed me in their world. Remy is a stunning hero- handsome, kind, intelligent, and witty. I found myself holding my breath to see if he would find his true love, Sara. Once started, I couldn’t put this book down. It’s by far one of the most enthralling romances I’ve read in years." Jennifer Macaire A Romance Review five roses*****

Available in eBook and Print at your favourite bookstore:

Mystic Mountains (Settlers Book 1)

In the early 1800s the penal colony of Botany Bay was an unforgiving and harsh place. Isabella O'Shea is transported to New South Wales for wounding a member of the British aristocracy who raped her, so it is understandable that she loathes members of the upper class and the system that punished her; sentenced her to seven years transportation.
Tiger Carstairs is rich, ambitious and English-so is it any wonder she is determined to hate her new master. Tiger dreams of making a new life beyond the aptly named Blue Mountains, so called because of the perpetual haze of blue surrounding them.
Mystic Mountains is a story of courage and persistence-traits that were essential for the settlers who carved out a new life in a raw land where suffering and heartbreak were commonplace.
Isabella and Tiger face tragedy and many hardships in their quest for a new life in this untamed land.
“I really loved this book (previously published as Blue Haze but re-published as Mystic Mountains). It was like Pride and Prejudice...ooops, I mean Arrogance and Obstinacy, meets the Thorn Birds in 1818 Australia. I love realistically flawed characters--perfect romance H/h's are such bores--and both of these were so realistically flawed, the way their life experiences from their past hard-scrabble youth carried over to lead to inappropriate and sometimes foolish judgments in their present was so well developed into the plot of this book. Now I shouldn't love it as much as I did. There were a few things in this book that I really hated, but I can't say without spoilers, that should have made me downgrade my rating--however, any book that keeps me up to 3:30 AM to finish, because I just can't put it down, definitely rates five-stars. This is also the kind of book that will make the next few books I read seem like they don't measure up.” Janet Orosz-Kindle  five stars

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5 July 2019

Challenging Mountains (Settlers Book 3) New Release

Buy Here

By 1840 the colony of New South Wales was expanding. Transportation of convicts to the east coast ended, and many free squatters set out to settle on lands to the south. In 1836, the Government in London authorised Governor Bourke to establish a settlement in The Port Philip District of New South Wales, and an Association was formed to make the district a separate colony.
Timothy, Tiger and Bella Carstairs eldest son has turned 21. Bored with his Government job and intent on seeking adventure and a new life away from Sydney, Tim decides to journey south in an endeavour to find this adventure, accompanied by his Uncle Carlos. Where else to find it, but in a newly formed settlement. 

In the 1840s the road south might not be as hazardous as the one across the mountains travelled by his parents when he was a child, but the month long journey overland holds many dangers and challenges to be faced. Escaped and ex-convicts seek the easy life by forming gangs to take what they can where they can. Forced to fight off the intruders who take claim to the land they have cared for over many, many generations, the Indigenous people are faced with many trials and battles of their own.

Not the least of Tim’s personal challenges is a young headstrong woman who, uninvited, takes it upon herself to join him on his travels.  When they reach their destination, their troubles have only just begun.

Find an excerpt from this book and all my others on my web page


22 February 2019

March 3rd Release--order now

Order now for March 3rd release



Set in London in the 1930s and onward, this book is based on a true story, and makes us realise how fortunate we are to live in a world where hospital treatment has advanced rapidly from the days of experimentation and exploration.

A short Excerpt:


Once we passed through the park gates, I raced off to be first on the swings, and was already swinging high by the time Dolly and Jeany caught up with me. Davy went on the roundabout while Jimmy pushed it, so it went faster.

“Look at me,” I shouted at the top of my voice as the swing rose so high I could see them all down below. Up here, I could imagine I was at the circus on the trapeze like in one of our picture books. The chains on the swing were wet after the drizzle that fell earlier and I’d almost reached the ground as it went downwards when my fingers slipped. I fell forward and landed on the ground with a thump. I’d fallen before, but this time when I tried to get up I couldn’t because my leg really hurt. I screamed and Dolly and Jeany ran over.

“Now what you done?” Dolly leaned over me. “Come on, get up, silly.” She held out her hand, but when I tried to pull myself up a pain shot up my leg.

“It really hurts, Dolly,” I blubbered. “I can’t move it. What am I gonna do?” Tears ran down my cheeks and into my mouth.
The boys came over to see what all the fuss was about and Dolly pushed Jimmy, shouting, “Go and tell Mum Vi can’t get up. I think she might have broken something like that boy did at school when he slipped on the ice.”

I began to shiver. It was icy cold on the ground, and the pain was getting worse instead of better. Dolly knelt beside me and put her arms about me.  It seemed like ages and ages before Jimmy came running back, followed by Mum. “Now what’s the little blighter been up to?” she asked as she knelt down and wiped at my wet cheeks with the corner of her apron.

“I fell Mum, and it hurts something awful,” I moaned. “And I’m cold.”

“All right, let’s get you home. Dolly, help me lift her up and if she still can’t walk I’ll have to carry her.”

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6 February 2019

Cover release--Crying is for Babies

My Books We Love Author page

Coming in March


In the 1930s medicine was still very much a hit and miss affair. The surgeons were still experimenting and learning about the human body. This at a period when there was little in the way of pain relief.
This is one woman’s story about a childhood ruined by such surgeons, whose bad judgement confined an eight year old subsequently to bed for three years, and left her with a disability to last a lifetime. Nowadays she would have been given bed rest and pain relief, and in no time would have been up and running again.
Her strong will, and the love of a close family, saw her through the bad times, enabling her to go on and become the talented, remarkable person she was. I know because this woman was my sister.

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26 January 2019

Challenge the Heart Series--Romance set in Australia



For too long Tessa has seen herself as plain and dowdy, just an ordinary suburban housewife. With her confidence eroded after being married to a bully who humiliated her at every opportunity, why wouldn’t she presume she was unattractive, and someone no man would find the least bit worth bothering with?
    But now Tessa is a widow, and relishing her new state of independence. Her world is turned upside down by Jack Delaney, a man she spent hours fantasizing over when he worked for her husband. A man who gave her a deliciously secret outlet from her miserable marriage. When Jack enters her life again, professing he finds her attractive, why would she believe him? Especially as he is now wealthy, successful, still extremely handsome, and to add to that, years younger than her.


"This is an unforgettable love story that I didn’t want to end and when it did, I wanted to start reading it again. Tessa is a wonderful heroine who has to regain her self-esteem and learn to love again. Jack is a man sure of what he wants and doesn’t mind using everything in his power to get it." Hattie Boyd




Opposites attract, it is a well-known fact. At times this leads to insurmountable conflict, when at other times, sit back and watch the fireworks.
Steve Tanakis considers himself cool and calmly confident. Head of a fashion business, he needs to be in control of his life and his business decisions. He decides it is time to find a suitable mother for his son. Through with the pain that comes along with passion, he now considers what he wants is an unemotional wife, one who will fit well into his way of life.
Georgie McNamara, assistant designer in his fashion house, is flamboyant, vivacious, and gregarious, the antitheses to his idea of the perfect choice. The tiny whirlwind turns Steve's organized lifestyle upside down, somehow worming her way into his, and his son’s life, foiling all his plans to find that uncomplicated wife. Along the way Steve comes to realize there is a lot more to this bundle of feminine trouble than he first thought. Is she more trouble than he can handle?


"A very cute love story! I really enjoyed this book. I cannot wait to read the last one. I'll be reading these over again soon!" 5 stars Loved it! by BOOKLOVER64 at KOBO




What happens when two people who are both of the same mind—this being to steer well clear of emotional entanglements—are struck down by instant attraction.
Kate last met Liam when she was bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding. A gangly, uncertain fourteen year old, going through the painful problems associated with growing up, she took an instant dislike to Liam, who made fun of her. When her recently widowed sister talks her into reluctantly accompanying her to her brother-in-law’s home, which was built by its owner, architect Liam, Kate falls in love with the house and, unfortunately for her, finds that she soon has corresponding feelings for the man who owns it.
Meanwhile, Liam cannot believe that the tall, insecure teenager he met at his brother’s wedding years ago has blossomed into this beautiful, talented woman. His inbuilt antennae that had served him well, stood every chance of being annihilated if he didn’t watch out.  


"This is a wonderfully written love story. This romantic situation takes place in Australia and the flavor of the dialogue is most captivating. With each new sentence being spoken by the characters, I found myself caught in an enchanting whirlwind of hearing their charming voices. It was an endearing quality which I enjoyed so much. Tricia McGill has the precise recipe for romance and intrigue all within the pages of this expertly written novel." Patti Oh.

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