Time Tells All

With his parents deceased and his older brother deserting his family, William Blay is struggling with insolvency. After selling his farm in New Norfolk, Van Diemen’s Land, William packs up his wife and three daughters and absconds to Port Phillip. But life in the new Colony is dogged by the same dramas that hounded William in Van Diemen’s Land.

A new start is not easy as it first seemed.

Forced to deal with the First World War and the Great Depression, they fight to make ends meet. But tenacity is often rewarded with success, and soon their family realizes its value as a significant part of Australian history.

The Conviction of Hope

When James Bryan Cullen takes on convict transportee Elizabeth Bartlett in 1796 as a housekeeper, his challenge is to convince her that life on Norfolk Island is worth living. But how do you come back from being wrongly accused of a crime, then exiled to the other side of the world?

He is 32 years older, transported on the First Fleet, long a free man, a constable, a landowner. She’s pregnant; her life such as it was, in tatters.

With nothing to lose, Elizabeth settles into an existence as a convict slave, waiting for her master to expect more than cleaning and cooking.

But is Cullen the gentle soul he appears to be, and in a society that treats her as worthless, should Elizabeth dare to hope?

Love, Lies & Legacies

When Catherine Tedder’s husband dies suddenly in September 1822, she is left alone with two small girls.

Accepting the proposal of James Blay Jr. sees her trapped in a marriage of convenience - for him. Struggling with the vagaries of her wayward husband, Catherine and the girls are forced to adapt to his tyranny.

After spending time in prison, James Blay Jr. appears to be a changed man: attentive, caring, supportive. But a tragedy changes everything.

No Room For Regret

The movement of the ship seals his fate. He could be sailing anywhere, anytime, but he’s not, he’s going to the other side of the world. He could be anyone, but he’s not, he’s the son of a respectable London businessman.

His crime? An error of judgement. In England, in 1812, there’s no forgiveness. As the ship sails, eighteen-year-old James Tedder’s seven-year sentence to Van Diemen’s Land begins.

Rescuing her eldest son from slave traders in Rio de Janeiro is the most difficult thing Sarah Blay has done in the last two years. Leaving England, her life, her mother, to follow her convict husband James to the other side of the world not knowing if he lives, pales in comparison. Will lives rebuild? Will love survive?

I acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Wathaurong people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land and waterways on which I live, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.

© Copyright 2023. Janeen Ann O'Connell. All rights reserved.