First Fleets Mystery.

The First Fleet entering Port Jackson (Sydney) January 26, 1788

What untold secrets did they take with them? They sailed from Portsmouth, England, between 1787 and 1791 to an unknown world with a cargo of mainly convicts to start an experiment in self sufficiency in a strange new land on the other side of the planet already inhabited for maybe 80,000 years by the Australian aborigine.

They had nothing except for what they brought with them on sailing ships which, in many cases, were not up to the trip. Nor were many of the passengers. They left behind families and loved ones, for good.

They set out on a long up to 11 month long voyage at sea into the unknown.

They were going for life.

Many died on the voyage.

Only now I have learned of the mystery.

Actually, more than one mystery.

One concerns an all female convict ship the ‘Lady Juliana’.

Another is the ‘Mary Ann’.

Yet another is the ‘Lady Nelson’, not part of the First Fleets arriving in Port Jackson (Sydney) 9 years later.

The biggest mystery of the lot involves the enigmatic Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ who took over in an emergency at the age of just 23 or 24.

Who was he, what was his mysterious past and what was his explosive secret?

Was he, I wonder, a legitimate son to Maria Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales, King George IV?

The evidence is all there in my fun and entertaining romantic historical mystery ‘Back to the Wall’.

To buy now CLICK HERE or on Amazon HERE

In the book, full of twists and turns, you can read how the mystery unfolded for me as I chased the clues across three countries as well as here in Australia and New Zealand.

You’ll read of Australia’s only military coup, of confrontations with the Maori Chief Ti-Pahi, of drama on the High Seas with equipment and men washed overboard, lost anchors and torn sails, of convicts who escaped from early settlements to live with the aborigines, of a secret royal wedding, of a King’s physician banished to the colonies for life because of what he knew, of another little-known mutiny against William Bligh of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame and of his return to England to face court marshal, and more.

Then there’s the ghost that started this all off. But that’s another story you’ll read in the book.

“You have discerned an amazing story”, said the Judge of the Reader’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards.

It’s a non-stop adventure with twists and turns from cover to cover.

To buy now CLICK HERE or on Amazon HERE

Best wishes



I was trying to convince a friend that he should write a book about his amusing experiences.

He was a builder and would relate the most incredible stories about building on the wrong block, about renovating a bank that collapsed on them, and so on.

“Is it a good idea,” he questioned, “to end every chapter with the reader wondering what happens next?”

“Too right,” I replied in my usual Aussie slang, “in my book every chapter ends with a real cliffhanger.”

“That’s what I thought,” he said smugly.

And that’s what I want you to know too.

Right from the Preface my story ends every chapter leaving you on the endge of your chair.

So if you want a good read, with cliffhangers leaving you unable to put the book down, then my true story is for you.

And unlike a novel you know that these events really happened.

Unbelievable as some of them may seem.

It’s a story of princes and politicians, drama on the high seas, the early days of Australian settlement by the British and the convicts who were sent here against their will and the aborigines they encountered, a hostile New Zealand Maori chief, as well as my own adventures and a mystery that fell into my lap.

“You have discerned an amazing story,” says the Judge of Writer’s Digest’s 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards. “It’s got everything it needs to be a blockbuster.”

To order your copy direct from the publisher CLICK HERE for a 10% discount’

Best wishes’


Forbidden Love

Louis John Steele’s ‘The Blowing Up of the Boyd’ (1889)

This is the true love story of a British sailor and a Maori Chief’s beautiful daughter.

About 240 years ago a Maori chief in the north of New Zealand was greeting some early European explorers with a hostile welcome, often having them and their crews slaughtered and cannibalized.

Just as Captain Cook had encountered elsewhere, the natives were inclined to help themselves to items from the ships, which was not usually tolerated by the ships’ captains. A response which would usually seal their fate.

So it was with a French explorer, Marion du Fresne. And with a Captain Thompson on the ‘Boyd’.

The place was the far north of the north island of New Zealand.

This was a country to the east of Australia, inhabited by a Polynesian race known as the Maori, which had hardly seen a white man.

Then in 1806 Lieutenant James Simmons on the brig HMS ‘Lady Nelson’, after some friendly exchanges, faced a similar dilemma and tactfully withdrew.

Hence the scene was set for the fearsome Maori Chief Ti-Pahi to pay a friendly visit to the Governor of New South Wales, as Australia was known then.

Which is how one of Simmons’ crew, George Bruce, fell in love with the Chief’s daughter, married her and stayed behind in New Zealand. 

Bruce had been appointed to attend the Chief when, on his return to New Zealand on the ‘Lady Nelson’, he became sea sick.

As a gesture of his gratitude, the Chief invited him to remain in New Zealand as his guest.

During which time he apparently fell in love – with Ti-Pahi’s daughter.

Eventually they were married, I suppose in the Maori tradition.

But tragedy was to follow.

An interfering captain of a visiting British vessel disapproved of the marriage and forced them both on board his ship. He then set sail with the two lovers on board not knowing their fate.

On arriving in Malacca (now part of Malaysia) the two were separated. Bruce was left there while his Maori wife was taken on to Penang (also in Malaysia).

This tragic story does have a happy ending.

Apparently the Commanding Officer of Malacca heard to their plight and arranged for them to be reunited in Bengal (then in India).

Sadly, it’s these heartwarming human stories that never find their way into the history books.

This is one example of the fascinating true stories from ‘Back to the Wall: A Fun Spiritual Adventure’ which deserves to be told.


Best wishes