Author: Mallee Stanley

Mary Lawson’s — Crow Lake *****

Mary Lawson’s — Crow Lake *****

Kate has three brothers, but it is her elder brother she adores. His passion for nature inspires her to become a biologist. But after a tragic car accident, the children are separated, but when she tries to reconnect with her brother she is overcome by the loss of the brother she once knew.

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A closer look

A closer look

I thought writing an 80 000 word manuscript a daunting task, but now I know that’s the easy part. I shared my story with my writing group, and because I made changes from their suggestions, I thought I was almost done.

Ha!

Now I’m in the middle of yet another edit where my focus is verbs — those boring passive verbs; my favourites I repeat far too often; and ones needed to convey a character’s feelings without spelling it out.

Today, our editor/facilitator announced to our group, “Focus on one thing at a time in an edit,” and I wished everyone had pounded their fists on the table with applause because her advice reminded me, I’m on the right track.

Editing is a daunting task, so don’t try to fix everything at once, and remember my tip from an earlier blog about allowing time in between edits.

Tea Obreht’s — The tiger’s wife *****

Tea Obreht’s — The tiger’s wife *****

While Natalia works in a Balkan orphanage, her mind is drawn back to the recent death of her beloved grandfather. She cannot understand why he set off for an unknown place when, as a doctor also, he must have known he would die. Natalia reflects over the stories her grandfather told her as a child until she discovers a connection that leads her to a greater understanding of him.

Kimberley Freeman’s — Wildflower Hill *****

Kimberley Freeman’s — Wildflower Hill *****

After Emma, a talented ballerina, damages her knee and her career is ruined, she leaves London and returns to Australia where she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death and her inheritance — Wildflower Hill. Emma heads to the property that was once a prosperous sheep station, where she discovers her grandmother’s possessions packed away in boxes. As she sorts through each box, she uncovers the mystery of her grandmother’s past and a new beginning for herself.

Anita Amirrezvani’s — The blood of flowers *****

Anita Amirrezvani’s — The blood of flowers *****

In the 17thcentury, when a young girl from a Persian village loses her father, she and her mother journey to Isfahan. A distant relative, Gordiyeh invites them to their magnificent house where they are treaded like servants. While the mother strives for some financial independence selling herbal remedies, her daughter tries to learn all she can about rug making from Gordiyeh. But once they are abandoned and no longer under Gordiyeh’s protection, they have to learn to survive alone.

Babara Hodgson’s — The tattooed map *****

Babara Hodgson’s — The tattooed map *****

Travellers, Lydia and Christopher have visited many places. On this trip they head to Morocco. Her diary entries begin as travel notes, but soon lapse into the difference between herself and her travelling companion while a strange tattoo worms its way up her arm. When she mysteriously disappears in Marrakech, Christopher continues diary entries on his quest to locate Lydia. Continue reading “Babara Hodgson’s — The tattooed map *****”

Daphne Kalotay’s — Russian winter *****

Daphne Kalotay’s — Russian winter *****

When Nina was a Russian ballerina, she manages to escape Stalin’s dangerous regime after her artistic friends become victims. In Boston, she buries her past until she decides to sell her jewellery collection. But when an associate from the auction house and a professor of Russian delve into the unique jewellery, they unravel a mystery that changes all their lives.