by Helena Phillips

Homarta, Caretaker for earth (not the earth), throws a tantrum over the state of things on the planet by causing an earthquake. She is frustrated at the Source’s lack of action. Dismayed at the results, she stops time for one hour to tidy up. Two humans are caught in the mayhem. Oddly, the Source is a tad peeved. Four Caretakers friends are encouraged to rethink the question of who’s in charge and instructed to aid Bridey and Sandro in sorting their lives. Bridey doesn’t ask for much. Just that the little things in life, like water, don’t let her down. Losing your father at five is bound to make you unsettled, but Sandro doesn’t need the sort of assistance Flagran, Caretaker for fire, offers. It seems he has no choice but to adapt.

Reluctant Activists

An earthquake shakes the lives of Bridey, a university student, and Sandro an aspiring property developer with a taste for the finer things.  A whirlwind of adventure ensues, when Caretaker spirits move in and intrude on every aspect of their lives. As events unfold, Bridey and Sandro discover they have stumbled into a world far more disturbing and powerful than it at first appears.

Caretakers involve themselves in struggles over rental property and landlords, absent fathers, mothers of varying capacity, sex lives, and associations with refugees.  Even everyday events such as bonfires, compost and plumbing, bring with them layers of complication.

Set in urban Melbourne, the story also ventures into some of Victoria’s most beautiful places.

Reluctant activists is a fast paced, entertaining and engaging tale. The tender yet challenging nature of the relationships throughout the story gently guide the reader through many interpersonal and spiritual quests.

Eleven Hundred Sand Dunes

The unusual world of the Caretakers in Reluctant Activists is followed by Eleven Hundred Sand Dunes shifting and deepening the expanding stories of the characters as they tackle the ups and downs of the aftermath and the challenges ahead.

Each character’s journey is not only an exploration of the physical world, but also one of personal discovery, resilience and frustrating, yet exhilarating, action. They face the eyes of the law, overcome the tricksters thrown in by the Source, and desperately struggle to maintain their somewhat normal lives. To triumph over hurdles requires supporting one another, and it is these poignant and tender experiences of love in the face of adversity which bring the characters and their stories together.

Set first in Melbourne and then across Victoria’s eastern coast, the story finally reaches the Simpson Desert. Eleven Hundred Sand Dunes is an exploration not only of the fast paced and demanding world we came to know in Reluctant Activists, but also one which explores strength, hope and courage.

Helena Phillips is a psychotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer and teacher.

Facing the sun

The Birdsville Track in outback Queensland becomes a highway to realisation for Jack an indigenous youth worker.  Its seductive serenity is punctuated by several ‘other-worldly’ intrusions threatening to spirit him away into madness. But the pervading desire for a lover to replace the memories of Tim wins out, bringing new hope.  Not racism, his mother’s acute illness, nor his nephew’s physical and emotional battles can prevent him from giving his heart again. Reunions with long lost family prove not all they’re cracked up to be, yet hope triumphs.   

In this finale of the Caretakers Trilogy, Facing the Sun considers cultural and spiritual identity.

Buy the Trilogy

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Other Books

The Place in Between

The Place in Between is about accessing hidden potential.  Exploring seven passions in depth, Helena Phillips writes about a much needed balance. She suggests that living as passionately alive and engaged human beings is hidden within a place of balance and centred relatedness to three aspects of our engagement with life: others, our ability to tolerate intra psychic tension and our need to connect with our often disengaged spirits.  Addressing these three areas will well serve ourselves, our communities and our planet.

The Place in Between provides tools for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists. It provides hints on parenting. It is book for anyone wanting to live a life of passion. It is written in an easy accessible style with case and life examples relevant to all readers.

The challenge is to take on a productive life.

“In a productive love the calling forth of the other is not controlling or overpowering and it is not a contract where so much is given and received. It requires giving and receiving in a responsive dance where the movements are unknown and the beat changes.”

The art and science of stuffing up your life

We have here a time (much like any other time) where some things we think and choose to do quite obviously don’t work! This book is a commentary on what must be pursued with determination in order to achieve perfection in messing things up. You may suspect at times that I am approaching some serious issues with less than serious thought!! In this book you do the thinking! But keep in mind that when it comes to stuffing up your life it has been achieved effectively in all Ages.

Try these
• Give lots of advice
That’s what friends are for; to give advice. Even if you don’t know what you are talking about still give it a go. Some people say good friends are good listeners but the problem there is that, if all you do is listen, you don’t feel like you’ve done anything, whereas if you give good advice you feel much better. Don’t worry if they don’t seem to be feeling much different when you’ve finished, they’re not likely to take any notice of you anyway. People like to do their own thing.

• Get your mum to do your banking for you.
This has three benefits to you. One: she is the one who has to get to the bank which saves you time. Two: she will know when your bills are due and if you have enough to pay for them and she will remind you. Three: she will have to pay the bills herself because that makes sense seeing she has all the cards and stuff. Anyway it gives her something to do and makes her feel involved in your life.

• Believe that life owes you
Why should you put anything into a life that really should be out to help you? If life gives you nothing and you add nothing to it, then you are even!

• Fight about sex
Fighting about sex can be a bit tricky. Things tend to go really wrong. You say things you really shouldn’t say like “if you just lost some weight…” or “if you weren’t so frigid….” or “you’re just a selfish pig!” The difficulty here is that people should just know that you didn’t mean it. You were just angry. But your partner really seems to get things stuck in their mind and it’s there forever!


You can stay connected with Helena Phillips by adding your name to the Well Source mailing list and hearing about each book in the Caretaker series as they are published.  You can write your thoughts about what you read, how you see life and ask questions. 

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