Book Review: The Lost Valley by Jennifer Scoullar

Mrs B's Book Reviews

Title: The Lost Valleythe lost valley smallAuthor: Jennifer Scoullar

Published: August 27th 2018

Publisher: Pilyara Press

Pages: 332

Genres: Fiction, Australian, Historical

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4.5 stars

A Tasmanian East Of Eden

A sweeping saga of ambition, betrayal and dangerous love.

Tasmania, 1929: Ten-year-old-twins, Tom and Harry Abbott, are orphaned by a tragedy that shocks Hobart society. They find sanctuary with their reclusive grandmother, growing up in the remote and rugged Binburra ranges – a place where kind-hearted Tom discovers a love of the wild, Harry nurses a growing resentment towards his brother and where the mountains hold secrets that will transform both their lives.

The chaos of World War II divides the brothers, and their passion for two very different women fuels a deadly rivalry. Can Tom and Harry survive to heal their rift? And what will happen when Binburra finally reveals its astonishing secrets?

From Tasmania’s highlands to the…

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Five #MustRead Releases – August 2018

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Getting Lucky
Avril Tremayne

He’ll help her get lucky…and promises to deliver a whole lot more!

With her fertility issues, it’s now or never for Romy Allen. Thankfully, her friend Matt Carter will help her research her options. But then the deliciously sexy entrepreneur tears up her IVF paperwork and presents a counteroffer — the old-fashioned way or nothing! How can she refuse? Especially when multiple orgasms are offered as a tempting bonus!

Broken Promises
Marianne Delaforce

At the age of 15, Rose realised her life was going to be very different to the dreams she once held for her future. She would not live the fairytale life she had imagined. Instead, she would find herself living in a nightmare of broken promises with no apparent way out. But in her deep love for her children she would find the strength, determination and courage to go on, to push…

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The Lost Valley – my review on Amazon

A wonderful early review of The Lost Valley by an ARC reader

Meeka's Mind

I wrote about Jennifer Scoullar’s latest novel here, and so I thought you might be interested in the 5 star review I left for it on Amazon.com:

I’ve read a number of Jennifer Scoullar’s novels now, and I’ve enjoyed all of them, including Fortune’s Son, book 1 of The Tasmanian Tales but…The Lost Valley turned out to be something a whole lot more.

This is the most powerful story Scoullar has ever written, imho, and her characters almost jump off the page, they ring so true. Tom, the gentle twin who dreams of flying like a bird. Harry, the troubled twin who’s desperate to reclaim the family fortune lost by his father. And Emma, a working class girl who dreams of becoming a doctor in pre-World War II Australia.

Life, and the war, turn all their dreams upside down and inside out, especially when Kitty, a gorgeous Hollywood…

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Fortune’s Son

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We are thrilled to announce that a new edition of Fortune’s Son is now available for readers outside Australia. As a bonus, it sports a gorgeous new cover!

Can one man’s revenge become his redemption?

Young Luke Tyler has everything going for him: brains, looks and a larrikin charm that turns heads. The future looks bright, until he defends his sister from the powerful Sir Henry Abbot. His reward is fifteen years hard labour on a prison farm in Tasmania’s remote highlands.

Luke escapes, finding sanctuary with a local philanthropist and starting a forbidden relationship with his daughter, Belle. But when Luke is betrayed, he must flee or be hanged.

With all seeming lost, Luke sails to South Africa to start afresh. Yet he remains haunted by the past, and by Belle, the woman he can’t forget. When he returns to seek revenge and reclaim his life, his actions will have shattering consequences – for the innocent as well as the guilty.

Set against a backdrop of wild Tasmania, Australian gold and African diamonds, Fortune’s Son is an epic story of betrayal, love and one man’s struggle to triumph over adversity and find his way home.

PRAISE FOR JENNIFER SCOULLAR

‘Lovely lyrical prose. Scoullar, it turns out, is a writer of documentary calibre.’
The Australian

‘An excellent read!’ Newcastle Herald

‘Superb! … Scoullar’s writing has a rich complexity. Poetic and visual … the landscape vivid and alive.’ Reading, Writing and Riesling

A snippet of my writing process, by Sydney Smith

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writingI’ve been writing WOLF ANGEL for a year or so now, sometimes writing intensively, sometimes letting my imagination work things out in its own way and its own time, This is the creative life. After a burst of galvanic activity that lasted about three months, slightly wrung out, the end in sight yet my feet plodding, I gave my completed draft to Kathryn Ledson for editing, and she came back with some suggested changes. These are good suggestions. My imagination responded immediately to some of them. If I had been under contract to a publishing house, with a deadline to meet, I would have taken a week or two’s rest, cleared away all distractions, crawled into my den for a spot of hibernation, and come back to the novel with fresh energy.

But I am not under contract. I am under the whip of a harsher taskmaster – my own driven personality. On the one hand, I know I have to rest. I have to clear my mind and give my imagination a week or two in a lonely hilltop monastery. Only then can it revitalise itself. On the other hand, the end is so near and I want to get this novel finished and published. On the third hand – I so often need three – I want to start work on another novel. This one is a hitch-hiker that keeps trying to flag me down.

There are other pressures – my paid work,  my commitment to Pilyara Press as it takes shape as the brainchild of four writers. Overarching all that is the fear that I’m a terrible writer who will never accomplish anything worthwhile. I am not a terrible writer. Quite the reverse. But I need to wallow in the fear that I am. It’s part of my process. A lot of writers have a similar process. It hurts to feel this way, and yet it’s good for me.  It’s like an infected wound – self-doubt is the stinking yellow pus, and by letting myself feel it, I free that pus so that the wound can heal.

Surely one of the benefits of being part of a publishing collective is that I decide when I am ready to write. I have such a horror of confinement within the needs and expectations of others, such a strong urge to find escape routes that will reassure me I’m not trapped, that I’m surprised it hasn’t occurred to me before that a publishing collective, where I decide my pace and my output, is the ideal solution.

I started this post in the hope that I would write myself into a decision – rest or revise. I have not.

I firmly believe in my subconscious as the arbiter of my choices in life. It will tell me what to do when it’s figured out what it wants most out  of the options that lie before it, jewels winking in a brightly-lit display window.