Tag Archives: Hero

And another literary legend leaves us

20 Feb

Heaven’s readers must be dancing with delight today. Vale, Umberto Eco, and thank you.

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Where is Gozo?

16 Aug

Xlendi sunsetThe question I’m asked most often about Hearts on Hold?  “Where’s Gozo?”

In the Mediterranean Sea, between the ancient civilisations of Sicily on the European continent and Libya in North Africa, lies the Maltese Archipelago. Its three islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – comprise one of the world’s smallest states. For thousands of years its strategic importance – for trade, for culture, for war – has kept it in the covetous sights of empires and religions.

Gozo, second largest island in the Maltese achipelago after Malta, is said to be the true location of Ogygia, the home of seductress Calypso in Homer’s Odyssey.

Rich in history, rural in character, Gozo’s fortunes have forever been tied to those of its larger sister, Malta. It carries the world’s oldest free-standing structures, in legend the temples of giants. Invaded by the Ottomans in medieval times, repopulated by the Knights of Malta, occupied again by Napoleon’s French before being surrendered to the British, the people of Gozo have learned to adapt, to defend, to endure.

None of that matters to Cate Boyd. After searching for a place where nobody knows her name or asks why she’s alone, Cate has settled in the sleepy Gozo village of Xlendi (pronounced Shhlend-ee, with a sibilant, sensuous shhh at the front). Here she has privacy, anonymity, the serene life she craves, far from her former world.

Her peace is shattered when monolithic development company Vena announces its plans to level her village, and threatens to expose Cate if she stands in its way. Can the arrival of seductive, nosy professor Brandon Blackshaw really be coincidental when Vena is his research partner? Will he keep his promise to help, or will he betray her too?

As the pressure mounts, Cate must decide which is more important: her hard-won privacy, or the future of her beloved Xlendi.

Hearts on Hold is converting readers to the delights of Gozo, its warm, beautiful people and its stunning landscapes. If you can’t afford a holiday in this wonderful place, why not let your imagination and Hearts on Hold heroine Cate Boyd take you there!

TGIF! A wonderful weekend challenge

5 Jul

write something worth doing

We can be heroes

16 Apr

Some amongst us live big lives. We call them heroes. Whether they are trained and regularly tested in their heroism or whether circumstances require them to do something beyond any training or ordinary expectation, they make a significant difference in their world and in ours.

They’re the emergency services teams – the police, the paramedics, the firefighters – who responded in Boston this morning and in Fukushima in 2011 and in Victoria in 2009.

They’re the humanitarians and aidworkers and fundraisers and peacekeepers who respond in Darfur and Mali and Syria.

They’re the surgeons who operate in the fistula camps in Central Africa as well as in the cardiac units of Sydney. They’re the teachers who open the eyes and the minds and the hearts of the children they’re entrusted with and lead them to a passion for life and learning rather than a fear or rejection of it.

These heroes give of themselves, sometimes at the expense of those they love – husbands and wives and children feeling their absences, friends and causes and private interests abandoned – because their expertise, strength  and courage is needed elsewhere.

They’re often the leads in romantic novels, although those fictional heroes and heroines only rarely capture the depth of real character displayed by real people in unreal events.

Let me tell you who I think the true heroes are not.

They’re not the rioters in the UK vilifying a politician who, regardless of how different her politics were to theirs, served her country in a job few thought could be done and fewer wanted to risk doing themselves.

They’re not the celebrated golfers and footballers who, while probably just as devoted in their training as police and ambos and firies, walked away from work last weekend with at least a dozen times a police officer’s salary and a magnitude more glory, without making a difference to anybody outside themselves.

They’re not the cowards who set the bombs in Boston because they couldn’t bear to see others enjoying healthy, free, fearless joy in themselves, their working bodies and their community.

Some amongst us live big, heroic lives. We honour them most by living heroically ourselves, however big or small we think our own lives and our own significance.

We honour them by standing up and speaking out for the things we believe in; by challenging sexism and racism and homophobia and xenophobia when and where we see it; by teaching our children that the smallest acts of violence – against others or against themselves – eats away at their heroic, human core; by looking out for each other in the cliched but so-important random acts of kindness.

Whatever your day brings today, your expertise, strength and courage is needed. Be your own hero, in your own lunchtime. Your life is big enough.

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