Murder, Mayhem and Men On Pause is out there for sale!

It's out in the world!

A bankrupt husband. A marriage on the rocks. A cop more sexy than the legal limit.

Just when Ellie Cummins is free to shed her corporate wife image, she finds the body of a young woman in an apartment she’s been hired to re-design. Her fledging business depends on this contract, so she tries to ignore the long-buried grief the trauma exposes.

When Ellie learns that her daughter has a personal connection to the victim, and the police have no leads, she and friends Cass and Kandy decide to investigate the murder. But Brisbane’s alleyways are dark and their detective skills dubious, so how far will they go for justice?

Kandy once lived a hard life on the streets, but will uncovering her husband’s secret life destroy all she’s achieved since then? And solid, dependable Cass isn’t as content with her life as she seems.

And is the cop who responded to their call more interested in Ellie than the investigation?

For the three friends, it’s a time of change and self-discovery. And the realisation that life, like love, doesn’t play fair.


The Curtis Chaos Fairy has waved her wicked wand again. My women’s fiction, Murder, Mayhem and Men On Pause, was supposed to be launched in July, and my publisher sent the details to Amazon to go up as pre-order. But before she’d realised that a glitch had occurred, the book had gone straight to being available for sale. Readers in the US, Europe and Australia had started buying it.

So the decision was made to accept the fate that had been handed out to this (for me) long-awaited book and let everyone know that it’s now out in the world.

This book has been a long time in gestation. In 2004 I wrote the first pages and showed them to my then publisher, Pan Macmillan, who was keen for me to keep writing it. But somehow I couldn’t. I had envisaged the story of three friends whose lives suddenly implode and they are forced to confront the loss of everything they value. It was going to be full of angst and drama, and, frankly, it depressed me to think about it.

Fast forward ten years and the long-rejected characters raised their voices in protest. They told me that I had had enough time to realise that women have the kind of enduring strength that enables them to cope with what life can throw at them. Yes, they might go down for a while, but they grit their teeth and get back up and take control of their lives.

But what they really emphasised was that women support each other. Women look out for their friends. And women often see the humour in life, especially when it comes to men and relationships.

So I started writing the story again, but this time with a different flavour. Yes, there are losses, and sorrow, but there’s also happiness and laughter, and the kind of friendships that I’ve been incredibly lucky to have in my life.

I’m grateful for my amazing women friends who have given my life richness and joy. Without them this book could never have been written.


Available for purchase on Amazon US and Europe

Available for purchase on Amazon Australia

Words on the page

It’s such a great feeling when the words flow onto the screen almost of their own volition. My fingers might be typing, but it’s as though they’re not there, as though my brain is feeding directly into the computer.

All writers know that feeling of being “one” with their story. The joy of it is wonderful – it keeps you writing through those hard times when your plot falls apart, when your characters won’t “come alive”, when every word you write feels like it’s being dragged from the deepest part of your psyche, reluctant to come into the world in case it’s the wrong one.

For the past week my story has been flowing. I’m hesitant to even say those words in case the well of creativity dries up overnight. Ellie is right where she needs to be, both physically and emotionally, Cass is her usual solid and dependable self, and Kandy is entering that scary land where wives doubt every word their husband utters.

We’ve had so much rain that when evening falls we feel like we’re living in Swamp Hollow. Frogs everywhere! Big and small green ones, fat mottled brown and cream ones about the size of a 50c coin that I call cranky frogs because if they’re not happy with something their croak has a distinctively angry tone, long brown-striped ones with skinny legs, and I haven’t pinpointed the ones that sound like they are sending out Morse code. Although the noise makes watching television a problem, it’s a delight to know that if the number of frogs is an indication, the health of our little patch in the world is quite good.