Affinity & Trust
Zuzana Milenkova, rescued from her fate as a sex slave of a rebel militia group in war-torn Bosnia, finds herself alone in a strange new country. She has emigrated to New Zealand and has Anglicised her name to Susan but is that sufficent? There are many obstacles to overcome, a new language to learn, different customs, and a new career, but she also has to come to terms with the horror of the past before she can move on and create a new future.
She befriends Frazer Winton who breaks through her reserve and fear of men. Their friendliness becomes more intense as she begins to trust humanity again. Her composure is, however, ruptured when, on a back country walking trip she has to walk through a disused railway tunnel.
When the darkness inside envelops her, terrible memories of another tunnel back in her homeland seize her in a panic attack.
What are these terrible memories and will they haunt her new life in a new land? And can Frazer help or is the hurdle too deep and soul destroying for her to conquer?
It is 1999 and Kosovo refugee Niana Bolsa is abandoned by the Serbs to fend for herself in the mountains. In freezing temperatures, the distraught woman staggers along an empty road through virgin snow. At the point of near collapse she comes across a tractor and trailer by the roadside with two terrified children hiding there. Their grandparents have been shot and mother taken away. Determined to save the children, Niana takes them and heads for Albania. With all records destroyed, nobody queries her right to the children and they emigrate to New Zealand.
Matt Coleman is attracted to the new tenant of his New Zealand shop, Niana Bolsa, when she opens a food bar adjacent to his antique and furniture factory. Niana is reluctant to commit herself beyond friendship and says little about her life. Eventually, friendship between Niana and Matt blossoms into passionate love as they and Niana’s foster children become a family.
But the terror so prevalent in Niana’s past surfaces again…with a vengeance.
Behind the Fire
In Sydney, Australia on the way to school in his old pickup Cooper sees Abbey being attacked by a gang of girls. He comes to her rescue and Abbey befriends the boy she hardly knew from her school class. Later, thinking that he killed his father after a fight, a terrified Copper decides to run away. Abbey agrees to meet him at Richmond at the end of the Western Sydney CityRail line. Cooper meets her and shows her a van he has traded his pickup in for.
The pair decide to head north to Queensland on Putty Road, a remote inland route. On the way they are chased by an ancient Falcon and in their attempt to get away they turn off the road. The youths in the Falcon attempt to follow but in doing so a cigarette is thrown out and a smouldering fire turns into a bush fire
Cooper and Abbey are trapped between the fire and the youths following them in the Falcon.
After being given tickets for a three month voyage around the Pacific on the container ship Konstellation. by her grandmother, Jana takes her friend, Kelsie McNeil with her. On board they meet the other passengers, artist Rowan Clardy and an elderly couple, Hank and Denise Thorpe.
After a few days, the Konstellation is attacked by pirates who strip the ship of all its communication and electronic equipment. The five passengers manage to hide in an empty container and escape being caught. They later discover they are alone on the ship.
After a frightening time when they disarm bombs placed by the terrorists the five realise they have though no way to control the ship. The engine is still going but all communications and navigation gear is destroyed. At this point, Jana and Rowan begin a romance that lasts throughout the novel.
Days later, the Konstellation hits a coral reef and begins to sink. The five passengers manage to land on a coral atoll where their adventures really begin.