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rossrichdale

Ross Richdale's Novels

I am a New Zealander and the author of over forty novels, contemporary, historical and science fiction. Latest news and pictures about my books will be brought to you here.

 

Thirty kilometres off the coast of New Zealand, HMNZS Wanaka received the first report of the earthquake. A few moments later a satellite picked up the first indication that a tsunami had been triggered. It was already three meters high and running directly towards the New Zealand coast. 

 

"It’s picking up speed, Sir," one of the crewmen reported without taking his eyes off a monitor on the console. "ETA is eight minutes." 

 

"We have it on radar, Sir," another crewmember said.

 

 Lieutenant Doug McClay grunted. It would have to be close to fifteen metres in height and within twenty-five kilometres for their own equipment to pick it up. It was coming in faster than the computer predictions from the satellite. He was a professional, though, and didn’t hesitate. 

 

A siren sounded and his voice echoed through out the boat "Now hear this. Code Red Tsunami Alert. All crew are to report to their emergency stations in full safety attire. Material condition yoke..." 

 

Other orders were issued. There was a sound of feet as the crewmembers out on deck or off duty responded. Executive Officer Kim Hesterwood stood and left the bridge. It was her responsibility to see all crewmembers were accounted for and the vessel made secure. Within seconds every crewmember was inside and the exterior hatches closed. A wave could now crash over the patrol boat without any water getting inside.

 

"ETA, four minutes, Sir." the original crewman reported. "She’ll be close to fifteen metres high and over twenty kilometres wide." 

 

"Satellite reports two smaller waves half a kilometre astern the main one, Sir." 

 

"Turn into the sea," McClay ordered.  "Get ready for maximum power on my order." The pilot nodded. This manoeuvre had been practiced many times.  

 

"Visual sighting, Sir." 

 

McClay stared out over the bow. The incoming tsunami heading directly towards them appeared as dirty brown wall. "Full power, Clive," he ordered. 

 

The pilot nodded and he pushed the twin throttles forward. With a howl, the diesel engines responded, the bow lifted and wake surged out behind the accelerating craft.  

Orders were crisp and responses immediate as the hissing wave and patrol boat headed for each other at a speed in excess of two hundred kilometres an hour. 

*

Kim screwed the last hatch tight and was about to step back down the small steel ladder when she felt the boat increase power. She gripped a handhold and only had time to catch the eyes of a crewman beneath her when the bow lifted. In the confined interior the roar of the engines and the shuddering steel, the executive officer could only hang on until the wave passed. Once they reached the crest, she knew the pilot would cut throttles and they would drop into the following trough, if there was one. The whole manoeuvre would be repeated for any subsequent waves. As long as they hit the tsunami head on they would be able to ride it out. 

 

The engines screamed and bulkhead shuddered. Without warning an unexpected noise filled the companionway. It was a sort of rasping clunk followed by a screaming tearing noise. The patrol boat tilted to starboard in a violent move that flung Kim across the ladder and into a crossbeam. Stars crossed her vision.

 

 She had no time to notice that blood poured down her face for more happened.  A mountain of white water hurtled down the companionway. The boat wobbled and continued to tilt. The water reached Kim’s companion and the man would have been swept away if she hadn’t grabbed him. Seconds later water swirled around the pair and rose in a torrent. 

 

Thoughts rushed into Kim’s mind. Water had broken through and the Wanaka was sinking. There was no way back to the others. Above her was the hatch she’d only closed seconds before and below the terrified face of one of the youngest crewmembers. Water surged up to his armpits.  In seconds his head would be under. 

 

"Seaman Jarred, there’s been a breach. We’re going out. Follow me!" 

 

She reached up unscrewed the hatch and, expecting to meet a mountain of water, she pushed it. Two other hands grabbed the heavy hatch and helped push it up. Spray hit Kim’s face but she noticed a patch of sky. 

 

Whether they had committed the other thirteen crewmembers to a watery grave in those dreadful seconds, Kim never knew.  She glanced back to see water shooting out of the hatch, not into it. At least using the hatch was vindicated. The whole lower decks must be flooded. She pulled herself up onto deck and helped the sailor behind her. 

 

"Jump, Barry!" she screamed. 

 

Barry Jarret did just that. The pair hit freezing water. Lifejackets kept their heads above water and the momentum carried them away from the Wanaka. 

 

Kim blinked to remove salty water from her eyes and gasped.  

 

She could see the Wanaka but not in any position it should be. Its stern was vertical with the propellers spinning in the air. The hull sort of groaned and the patrol boat slid beneath the following wave.       

*

 

The ebook, Astrid's Coast is available at our publishers now

 

Astrid's Coast
Astrid's Coast

ASTRID’S COAST

Ross Richdale

When her mother dies after an accident, Astrid Stowell moves to the small New Zealand Coromandel Peninsular village of Hook Bay to live with her grandfather, Steve Barton. She has to cope with life in a new environment with old friends’ help and betrayal, a new school to attend for her final high school year and an early encounter with the forces of nature.

 

Steve’s love and guidance, as well as Astrid’s ability as an artist, helps her through difficult times. New friends enter her life, old ones return and her talent is encouraged by the local school principal. Her life now has a future.

 

That is until the tsunami builds up in the Pacific Ocean and heads south… directly towards Hook Bay.

 

 Review

The adventures of this teenage girl and her wisdom in overcoming the ggod and bad things that has happened to her and her grandfather and friends in one year, make an interesting story - a good read with several pausable twists and turns that make you want to investigate further.

Esther Provencher, Author

 

Available as an ebook from the publisher for $US3.99

Now writing my 49th novel.
Now writing my 49th novel.

My the years do pass! It is twenty years since I published my first ebook, then called Lost Generations and now Generation 7, was published as a PDF document by a small publisher that has now long gone. This was before epub files and Kindle. There were no iPads or tablets and the few ebooks downloaded were read on desktop PCs or Macs.

 
 Visit my home page  at http://www.richdale.nz
 
 
Snow Bond is online.
Snow Bond is online.

When the remote settlement of East Ridge in the South Island of New Zealand is isolated during a snowstorm, Renee and Tyler take in three travellers. Without electricity or mobile phone contact and with all the roads around closed, the five are completely cut off from the world. There, they begin to bond and help one another with problems in their lives.

 

Renee is now living with her partner Tyler at East Ridge after a violent marriage to a Larry Brooks and the loss of an unborn child. Tyler, who has a tractor to patrol the local section of highway, rescues Aza and Sofia after their car slides off the road in a heavy snowstorm.  As well, Ian, a lawyer who was actually coming to visit Renee is also found in a separate accident where his motorbike skidded off the road.

 

Aza is a lecturer and researcher at Auckland University who has had her work on genetic profiling, plagiarised from her PhD thesis by Professor Joseph Hardy who becomes an enemy when she can prove his crime.

 

Ian is a lawyer who works for the Crown Prosecutors Office in Auckland. He tells Renee that her ex-husband is being investigated for murder of his child and attempted murder of a partner after a car crash. However, there is not enough concrete evidence to prove that it was not an accident and circumstantial evidence is needed to show Larry Brooks violent past. Several of the man’s previous partners are too scared to testify. Ian came down to the South Island to try to persuade Renee to be a witness at a trial that may eventuate.

 

During their isolation at East Ridge, the five find they are being stalked and later attacked by an armed criminal, obviously employed by someone to assassinate one of them.

 

But who is being targeted? Is it Aza who is a threat to the professor at the university, Renee by the violent Brooks or Ian, the lawyer out to build up a case against him?

 

And how does being isolated from the world by the snowstorm add to the problems? Romance enters the equation in an unexpected way after Sofia is shot and wounded in the assassination attempt. Was she the target of the mysterious assassin or was it a mistaken identity with Renee or Aza being the intended target?

 

All will be revealed in this romantic thriller set in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

 

On sale at Amazon. Other outlets will follow soon.

Snow Bond - Scene 6
Snow Bond - Scene 6

This is our last scene from Snow Bond. Watch this space for the release date.

Snow Bond - Scene 5
Snow Bond - Scene 5

Why did they stop the bus?

Snow Bond- Scene 4
Snow Bond- Scene 4

Snow Bond should be published by Christmas.

Snoww Bond - Scene 3
Snoww Bond - Scene 3
Our new novel will be out soon.
Our new novel will be out soon.

When snow isolates East Ridge

Pasts are revealed

Acquaintances become friends

And Friends lovers

Rivals become ruthless

Stalkers murderous

And human nature is exposed

*

 

Our latest novel  is finished. Now comes the editing and so forth.  To begin, there is a new title. Keep watching this space for more information.
Our latest novel is finished. Now comes the editing and so forth. To begin, there is a new title. Keep watching this space for more information.
Our Romantic Thriller
Our Romantic Thriller

Silence reigned on that winter’s day in 1999. Everywhere Niana looked there was nothing but virgin snow, with no footprints or tire marks beyond where the vehicle turned. A watery sun cast its light from a pale blue sky. The rest of the morning was but a numb memory as the hungry, freezing, pregnant woman staggered along the mountain road. Every bend lead to another and every step crunched through icy snow. By noon the temperature was still barely above freezing. Niana was so cold she was certain her cheekbones had frozen. The woollen gloves barely managed to keep her fingers from being completely numb, while walking helped to keep her feet from freezing.

 

After four hours, the exhausted refugee came to one more bend and another patch of nothingness. Thoughts turned to her family, husband, father, mother, elder brother and almost everyone else she knew. They were all dead. Her only other friends were those at the army camp. If for no other reason, she owed it to them and the unborn child within her to survive and to tell NATO of the atrocities that had befallen her people.

 

God, she was hungry. Her stomach rumbled while the unborn baby kicked. She staggered as the scene in front became blurred and the trees above began to spin. No, she was not about to give in. Somewhere ahead was her own kind, someone to help.

 

She took another shaky step, staggered and fell to her knees. “Oh, Zymer,” she cried but by now not even the tears came. “I’m so, so sorry. Our baby.”

 

Niana gritted her teeth and rose once more to her feet. Another bend was ahead, more snow, more trees, the weak sunlight and another bend. She stumbled forward and blinked. There was something else. A farm wagon covered in snow was parked on the roadside as if it had pulled over, perhaps to let an oncoming vehicle pass. Linked to the front of it, looking so bright in the white world, stood a tractor; a red tractor.

Hope surged through her. The depression and fatigue of a second before disappeared as she broke into a slithery run.

 

“Hello,” she screamed. “Is anyone there? Hello.”

 

But all was quiet. Not a sound returned.

 

She reached the wagon and grabbed a canvas cover tied to the wooden side. Shaking with anticipation, she lifted the corner of the flap and gazed into the dim interior.

Four enormous brown eyes ringed in terror gazed up at her and children’s sobbing filled the air.

*

Our Romantic Thriller $US2.99  Select your favourite outlet

 

Science Fiction
Science Fiction

Transmigration: (of the soul) pass into a different body- Concise Oxford Dictionary.

Four humans find themselves in a small village of Betaham without knowledge of where they come from or who they are. It is a pleasant little town but disturbing memories of a brutal war and a different life flash spasmodically into their minds.

 

Their dreams seem so real but are quite unrelated to their present lives … that is until they meet a strange farmer and a violent sandstorm arrives at Betaham. They find the farmer isn’t even human. Furthermore, they may not even be human themselves.

 

A bombed out city is on the other side of the hills and can be reached though a railway tunnel. The trouble is that the city was destroyed a millennium before and is an archeological site visited by the farmer’s race who arrived from another planet.

Only then do the four learn the truth about themselves…

 

 

Pick your retailer Transmigration

Two Science Fiction Novels
Two Science Fiction Novels

See on Amazon  The Truth About Terra |  Terra Incognita

New cover. Same great family saga.
New cover. Same great family saga.
Now distributed through Draft2Digital . $US 2.99
Our all-time top selling Sci/Fiction Novel
Our all-time top selling Sci/Fiction Novel

The armlet Kolina Lagerfelt is given by her dying grandmother is more than a piece of jewellery. It has been handed down through the family for countess generations.

 

Kolina places the armlet on and is connected to Eboff, a voice in her mind. Eboff is an advanced computer with news that she is the descendant of a starship crew that crashed on the planet a millennium before. Only when other ancestors of this crew are found that technology far superior to that now known on the planet can be accessed to save the world from nuclear annihilation.

 

But is it too late? Their world is at war and the nuclear holocaust has already begun.

Our usual ebook price of $US2.99.

 

Pick your preferred outlet here

Doctor Reid Tucker’s intention to spend the summer at a remote cabin at Eagle’s Claw Lake in northeast Washington State with only his dog, Cinders, never eventuates.

 

On the trip there, pilot Kate Meltz calls in with the amphibian to a commune at the other end of the lake. While there, Reid pulls a desperate teenage girl, Lorie Somerville, from the water. This begins a frightening time as fanatical commune leader, Peter Littlejohn, tries to find Lorie and prevent her from leaving.

 

Though Littlejohn doesn’t find her on the aircraft, he sabotages it so the trio are left stranded at Reid’s cabin.

 

It becomes obvious that the place is more than just a remote religious commune. The girl is terrified of being caught and begs Reid to look for Jennifer and Sassy, two of her friends who have also escaped. Though pursued by Littlejohn, Lorie leads Reid and Kate to a cave where the girls are waiting.

 

But why has Erika Somerville, Lorie’s elder sister, returned to Eagle’s Claw Lake and is found savagely beaten in the commune’s cabin cruiser?

 

Pick your publisher  here.  $US2.99  or local equivalent