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  • New Release: Heartsease by Kate Kruimink

    Award-winning Tasmanian author Kate Kruimink this week launches her second novel, Heartsease (Pan Macmillan, Australia). The new work has been described by author Robbie Arnott as, 'Sharp, gorgeous and unforgettable.' Author and environmentalist Jane Rawson said: 'Heartsease will make you gasp — from heartbreak, hilarity and the sheer beauty of life.' Launched on May 29 at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart, the book from the author of Vogel Award-winning A Treacherous Country has excited great interest. About Heartsease I saw my mother for a long time after she died. I would see her out windows, or in the corner of my eye. Always in the periphery, always a dim blur, but unmistakably my mother, the herness skating through every line and flicker. Charlotte ('Lot') and Ellen ('Nelly') are sisters who were once so close a Venn diagram of the two would have formed a circle. But a great deal has changed since their mother's death, years before. Clever, beautiful, gentle Lot has been unfailingly dutiful - basically a disaster of an older sister for much younger Nelly, still haunted by their mother in her early thirties. When the pair meet at a silent retreat in a strange old house in the Tasmanian countryside, the spectres of memory are unleashed. Heartsease is a sad, sly and darkly comic story about the weight of grief and the ways in which family cleave to us, for better and for worse. It's an account of love and ghosts so sharp it will leave you with paper cuts. About Kate Kruimink Kate Kruimink is a writer from southern Lutruwita. Her first novel, A Treacherous Country, won the 2020 Vogel/Australian's Literary Award. It was shortlisted in the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction and longlisted in the UK for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. In 2021, she was one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists. Kate also writes short stories and essays, which have been published widely. Heartsease is her second novel.

  • New Robbie Arnott Novel Coming this October

    Exciting news just in: one of Tassie's favourite authors, Robbie Arnott, will release his fourth book in October this year. The beloved author of Limberlost, The Rain Heron and Flames brings a new work called Dusk, published by Picador (an imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia). About Dusk In the distant highlands, a puma named Dusk is killing shepherds. Down in the lowlands, twins Iris and Floyd are out of work, money and friends. When they hear that a bounty has been placed on Dusk, they reluctantly decide to join the hunt. As they journey up into this wild, haunted country, they discover there's far more to the land and people of the highlands than they imagined. And as they close in on their prey, they're forced to reckon with conflicts both ancient and deeply personal. About Robbie Robbie Arnott is the author of Limberlost, The Rain Heron and Flames. He's a two-time winner of The Age Book of the Year, and has also been awarded the Voss Literary Prize. He's been named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist, and has twice been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, as well as the Dylan Thomas Prize. He lives in Hobart with his wife and daughter. We interviewed Robbie on our podcast when he was working on Limberlost. Watch it here.

  • Benjamin Stevenson at the 2024 Festival

    We are thrilled to announce that one of our headline guests for the 2024 Tamar Valley Writers Festival will be Benjamin Stevenson. Benjamin is an award-winning stand-up comedian and author. He has sold out shows from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is the author of four novels, including the national bestsellers Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, which has been sold in 27 territories around the world and will soon be adapted for a major HBO TV series, and Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect. The 2024 festival will run from October 11 to 14, and promises to be our best yet, with a superb lineup of speakers that will be announced in coming weeks as we firm up our program. Sign up to our newsletter to ensure you're in the loop, and are first to know about the program release.

  • Markus Zusak Headlines our 2024 Festival

    The Tamar Valley Writers Festival committee is delighted to share that beloved Australian author Markus Zusak will be one of the featured authors at the 2024 festival in October, just weeks after the release of his first work of non-fiction. Markus joins an incredibly strong program, and we look forward to hearing insights and wisdom from the internationally bestselling author of six novels, including The Messenger, Bridge of Clay and The Book Thief. The festival will run October 11-14. Sign up to our newsletter to ensure you don't miss important program announcements in coming weeks. First non-fiction for Markus Three Wild Dogs (and the truth) will be released in September this year, chronicling the relationship between Markus Zusak's family and three big, wild, pound-hardened dogs. You will meet Reuben, a wolf at your door with a hacksaw; Archer, blond, beautiful, deadly; and the rancorously-smiling Frosty, who walks like a rolling thunderstorm? The result can only be chaos: there are street fights, park fights, public shamings, property trashing, injuries, stomach pumping, purest comedy, shocking tragedy, and carnage that needs to be seen to be believed . . . not to mention the odd police visit at some ungodly hour of the morning. There is a reckoning of shortcomings and failure, a strengthening of will, but most important of all, an explosion of love – and the joy and recognition of family. From one of the world’s great storytellers comes a tender, motley and exquisitely written memoir; a love letter to the animals who bring hilarity and beauty – but also the visceral truth of the natural world – straight to our doors and into our lives, and change us forever. ‘For the last fifteen years, my family and I have lived a chaotic, comedic, beautiful, shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately loving life. We’ve brought animals into our home who’ve not only impacted our everyday, but shown us who we are. Writing it was a joy, even amongst the heartbreak. It reminded me why I became a writer in the first place: I do it because I love it. I can feel that in every page, and hope readers will feel it, too.’ - Markus Zusak About Markus Markus Zusak is the international bestselling author of six novels, including The Messenger, Bridge of Clay and The Book Thief – one of the most loved books of the twenty-first century and a New York Times bestseller for more than a decade. His work is translated into more than fifty languages, and has been awarded numerous honours around the world, ranging from literary prizes to bookseller and reader choice awards. His books have been adapted into film, television and theatre. Markus was born in Sydney, and still lives there with his wife, two children, and the last dog standing in a once thriving household of animals.

  • Book Review: The Secrets of the Huon Wren

    Reviewed by Kate Jackson @kate_thebooklover I was absolutely delighted to read an advanced copy of Claire van Ryn’s debut novel The Secrets of the Huon Wren published by Penguin Random House Australia on June 27. This story had me captivated as it circles around two women and the connection that they build after a chance meeting. Set in Tasmania, the story is written in dual timelines. The present day, 2019, is set in Launceston and in 1953 in Caveside, at the base of the majestic mountains of the Great Western Tiers. We begin the story in the present day where we are introduced to Allira Ambrose who is a journalist for a local magazine, and can I just say when I first read her full name I thought, what a great name for a character, Allira Ambrose! It had such a good ring to it and is so memorable, just like her character will be for the reader long after the last page of this book is turned. It’s through a twist of fate that we meet Nora at the nursing home in the present day. Allira has arrived there to interview another resident but when that isn’t possible, Sally, the homes manager, tells Allira of Nora, a dementia patient who sits cradling a doll so lovingly in her arms. Having lost my own grandmother to dementia, the first few chapters really tugged at my heart strings and I felt a huge mix of emotions. The chapters then alternate from the past to the present, with flashbacks to 1953 when Nora is a 15-year-old, free-spirited young lady who doesn’t want to conform to her mother’s belief that her calling in life is to be that of a housewife and mother. Nora’s world is turned upside down when a young Polish-German migrant makes a wood delivery to Nora’s father who is the local undertaker. The titbits the author provides about his profession I found utterly fascinating. As the story progressed, I couldn’t help but enjoy the connection that builds between the two women. It is so heart-warming, and I found their relationship to be an interesting one. They are unable to connect simply by words, but share a similar life-changing experience that bonded them. As Allira continues to visit Nora, she knows there is a story to be told about this woman and the carved Huon wren in her room and I enjoyed how the secret unfolded and the past came crashing into the present. It was a bittersweet ending, with a few soggy tissues tucked into my sleeve as I finished the final chapters. I enjoyed the array of characters within the story; Rae, Allira’s best friend, Her Husband Hamish (picture a hot, hunky paramedic) and Nora’s father won my heart. There was also an interesting dynamic with mother-daughter relationships experienced by both the main characters. This book covers some sensitive topics that are central to the story, but I found the author approached them delicately and with such care that you can’t help but feel empathy for the characters involved. There is so much to like and enjoy about this book, I found it captivating and loved the instant connection I had with the story and setting. It was a brilliant debut novel, and I am excited to read more of what Claire van Ryn has to offer in the future. Kate Jackson is a prolific bookstagrammer and you can follow her reviews and snippets of life on Instagram @kate_thebooklover

  • Fav Bookish Podcasts as Voted by YOU!

    A little while back we asked you, our book-loving community, for your favourite podcasts on writing, reading and everything associated. You responded with such insight that we thought we'd better put all those wonderful suggestions in a safe place. So, here they are, in no particular order. Find them where you listen to your podcasts. But first, a reminder that we have our own archived podcast with some truly top-notch interviews with notable Tasmanian authors. Check it out! TVWF Podcast So You Want to be a Writer (by the Australian Writers' Centre) Everything you've always wanted to know about succeeding in the world of writing and publishing. Practical writing techniques, insights into how authors got their big break, creative writing processes of well-known and emerging authors. Hosted by Valerie Kho (author, journalist, creative and CEO of the AWC). Length: 25-60mins Frequency: weekly The HYBRID Author Interviews with industry professionals on forging a career as a hybrid author: writing across genres, mixing writing styles, publishing all ways and getting comfortable promoting you and your books. Hosted by Joanne Morrell (author of children's, young adult and women's fiction). Length: average 30mins Frequency: every Friday The Creative Penn A self-help podcast for writers, with interviews on publishing, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship. Length: average 60mins Frequency: weekly The Garret (by Bad Producer Productions) A podcast for lovers of books and storytelling, episodes are always about Australian writers and their craft, as well as some interviews with industry figures about what gets published and why. Each interview is published with a full transcript. Length: average 25mins Frequency: weekly The Word Count Follow three Australian writers step-by-step as they write their way towards publication: - Jo Dixon, bestselling Tasmanian author of The House of Now and Then - Fiona Taylor, crime writer and host of the Reading by Candlelight podcast - Jacq Ellem, cozy crime writer and host of award-winning podcast Tales From Three Corners Length: 25mins Frequency: fortnightly Talking Aussie Books A spotlight on local talent, hosted by lawyer turned fiction writer, podcaster, presenter and moderator Claudine Tinellis. Length: 30mins Frequency: weekly Reading by Candlelight Interviews with Australian debut and sophomore authors, hosted by writer Fiona Taylor. Each book is featured in Reading by Candlelight book boxes by Molly's Cottage. Length: 40mins Frequency: monthly Secrets from the Green Room Hosts Irma Gold and Karen Viggers chat with writers about their experience of writing and publishing in honest, green room-style, uncovering some of the plain and simple truths, as well as some of the secrets — whether they be mundane or salubrious — and having a lot of fun in the process. Length: 50mins Frequency: monthly Writes4Women Celebrating women's voices and supporting women writers, with host Pamela Cook. Length: 60mins Frequency: weekly

  • Shop Tassie Authors

    Is there a better gift than a book? We don't think so either. And a Tasmanian author, all the better. The 2023 year has seen a steady stream of new Tasmanian books hitting shelves, so we thought we'd put together a bookish giving guide so that you can not only give a sensational, thoughtful present to your loved-ones, but support a local author in the process. These titles are available from your favourite independent Tasmanian book retailer. The Unearthed by Lenny Bartulin (Allen & Unwin) Set amidst the harsh terrain of the timber and ore industries of the west coast, The Unearthed is a haunting novel about the past and its quiet but tenacious grip on the present. It reveals the tragic connections between the disparate lives of post-war migrants and local workers, and the fallibility of memory, the illusion of truths and the repercussions on real lives. On a Bright Hillside in Paradise by Annette Higgs (Vintage Australia) Told from five different points of view, each one revealing something different, On a Bright Hillside in Paradise, tells the story of a family of convict descendants in the back-blocks of Tasmania, on a farm in a place called Paradise. They lead hard-scrabble lives. The drama begins when strangers arrive, Christian Brethren evangelists who hold big revival meetings in local barns. The Secrets of the Huon Wren by Claire van Ryn (Penguin Random House) Senior journalist Allira is writing a story for Folk magazine when she meets Nora, a nursing home resident with dementia and a doll cradled lovingly in her arms. Bit by bit, Nora reveals details about her younger life as a spirited teenage girl living beneath the Great Western Tiers in Tasmania’s heartland, of stitching linings into coffins, of her illicit romance with a charming Polish-German migrant, and of a family torn apart by heartbreak. Line in the Sand by Dean Yates (Pan Macmillan) Dean Yates was the ideal warzone correspondent: courageous, compassionate, dedicated. After years of facing the worst, though, including the Bali bombings and the Boxing Day tsunami, one final incident undid him. In July 2007, two of his staff members were brutally gunned down by an American helicopter in Iraq. Line in the Sand is a memoir that is going to resonate for generations to come. It tackles the most important topic of our age in an unforgettable way. The House of Now and Then by Jo Dixon (Harper Colllins) After a humiliating public scandal, Olivia is hiding from the press in a remote Tasmanian house when an unknown man knocks on her door, seeking Pippa, a woman who once lived there. His father, Jeremy, has died, leaving behind a letter for this mysterious woman. Olivia wants to help, but can she risk revealing her own sordid past? Home to Echidna Lane by Eva Scott (Harper Collins) It's been thirteen years since Lacey Kane escaped the small town of Whitton for the big city, and life couldn't be better. Or so she thought. When her seemingly perfect life is exposed in the worst way, on live television no less, she suddenly finds herself facing her worst nightmare: returning to her parents' home on Echidna Lane in the small Tasmanian town of her childhood. Graft by Maggie Mackellar (Penguin Random House) In Graft, Maggie MacKellar describes a year on a Merino wool farm on the east coast of Tasmania, and all of life – and death – that surrounds her through the cycle of lambing seasons. She gives us the land she knows and loves, the lambs she cares for, the ewes she tries to save, the birds around her, and the dogs and horses she adores. Mole Creek by James Dunbar (Allen & Unwin) In the tiny Tasmanian town of Mole Creek, retired cop and Vietnam veteran Pete McAuslan has retreated to his fishing cabin to write his memoirs. In Sydney, his grandson Xander, learns that Pete has taken his own life, begging forgiveness in a suicide note. Arriving in Mole Creek in the aftermath of Pete's death, Xander discovers that his grandfather's laptop is missing. He begins to suspect that something is wrong. With the local police not interested in investigating, Xander sets about uncovering the truth. Question 7 by Richard Flanagan (Knopf Australia) By way of H. G. Wells and Rebecca West’s affair through 1930s nuclear physics to Flanagan's father working as a slave labourer near Hiroshima when the atom bomb is dropped, this daisy chain of events reaches fission when Flanagan as a young man finds himself trapped in a rapid on a wild river not knowing if he is to live or to die. The Conversion by Amanda Lohrey (Text) The conversion was Nick's idea, but it's Zoe who's here now, in a valley of old coalmines and new vineyards, working out how to live in a deconsecrated church. Can a church become a home or, even with all its vestiges removed, will it remain forever what it was intended to be? For Zoe, alone and troubled by a ghost from the recent past, the little church seems empty of the possibilities Nick enthused about. She is stuck in purgatory-until a determined young teacher pushes her way into Zoe's life, convinced of her own peculiar mission for the building. Good Life Growing by Hannah Maloney (Affirm Press) Good Life Growing provides the inspiration and know-how to grow your own fruit and veg in any Australian climate. This bountiful guide from Gardening Australia presenter Hannah Moloney is packed with practical solutions for all conditions and every gardener. Whether you're getting started with a pot or developing a plot, you'll find everything you need to hone your skills, fire your imagination and have good, fresh food all year round. She Doesn't Seem Autistic by Esther Ottaway With her characteristic heart and power, Esther Ottaway turns her attention inward in this new poetry collection, creatively illuminating her own hidden autism and that of girls and women, most of whom are misdiagnosed and unsupported in a medical system designed for boys. Every page will surprise and move you. 'With wit, artistry, compassion and determination, Esther unflinchingly shares her own truth and the truth of multitudes of autistic girls and women.' – Dr Michelle Garnett PhD. When One of Us Hurts by Monica Vuu (Pan Macmillan) Port Brighton hates outsiders. The small coastal town has its own ways of dealing with the evil, the foolish, the misled, and it holds tightly to them. But the seams start to split after two deaths occur on the same tragic night: a baby abandoned at the foot of a lighthouse, and a drunken teenager drowned in the storming sea. Saddleback Wife by Fiona Stocker A book for foodies and those who want to know more about where their food comes from. It’s for anyone who wants a behind-the-scenes look at the foodie-haven of Tasmania, and the pork ‘underbelly’ of farming life. It's also the story of two Saddleback sows called Rosie and Bella, and a boar called Co-Pilot Bob. Told with trademark wry humour and at times heart-breaking honesty, Saddleback Wife is a story about the struggle to make a living from land and livestock, and the reality behind the dream of gourmet farming. The Escapades of Tribulation Johnson by Karen Brooks (Harper Collins) From the author of The Good Wife of Bath comes this brilliant recreation of the vibrant, optimistic but politically treacherous world of London's Restoration theatre, where we are introduced to the remarkable playwright Aphra Behn, now a feminist icon but then an anomaly, who gravitated to the stage - a place where artifice and disguise are second nature and accommodates those who do not fit in. Motherland by Stephanie Trethewey (Allen & Unwin) Motherland gives a voice to the extraordinary lives of fourteen rural mothers across states, territories, cultures and generations. Each offers an unfiltered insight into the tragedies and triumphs that have shaped their lives on the land, motherhood being the most challenging role of all. The Empty Honour Board by Martin Flanagan (Viking) A prison diary, a story of brotherly love, a journey of redemption, Martin Flanagan’s compelling book about his boarding school days goes inside an experience many have had but few have talked about. The Empty Honour Board is part memoir, a reflection on truth and memory, and what is lost in rushing to judgement.

  • Andrew Bovell comes to Launceston

    The Tamar Valley Writers Festival is thrilled to announce that, in partnership with Three River Theatre, we are hosting critically acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Andrew Bovell in Launceston on November 17 and 18, during Three River Theatre's season of 'Things I Know to Be True'. There are two events we want to tell you about... the links are below so be sure to book your place: 1/ PRE-SHOW MASTERCLASS Friday November 17 The Florance Hotel, 17 Brisbane Street, Launceston (in the Conservatory) 5:30pm til 7:10pm Please bring along your notepad or laptop and be ready to listen to Andrew speak, to ask your burning questions and to participate in some writing activities. Limited spaces available. +++ Please join Andrew and the team at Three River Theatre at the Earl Arts Centre after the masterclass for TRT's production of Bovell's work 'Things I Know to Be True' (not included in the masterclass price). Masterclass Tickets 2/ POST-SHOW Q&A Saturday November 18 Earl Arts Centre, Earl St, Launceston. 3:30pm - 4:30pm (some slight flexibility of exact time due to live performance prior) Come along to hear Andrew Bovell discuss his play 'Things I Know to be True' and other wonderful works for the stage and theatre, served with a glass of bubbles. +++Please join Andrew and the team for Three River Theatre's production of Bovell's work 'Things I Know to Be True' prior (not included in the Q&A price). Q&A Tickets

  • Book Review: Saddleback Wife

    Saddleback Wife by Fiona Stocker (reviewed by Claire van Ryn @clairevanryn) After attending the book launch of Saddleback Wife and hearing firsthand its author's delightful British accent and her witty, if slightly dark, sense of humour, I couldn't resist taking a copy home. This is Fiona Stocker's second memoir (you may be familiar with her first, Apple Island Wife) which leans heavily on her experience as an English expat eking out a life in Australia's island state with her husband, Oliver, and two kids. No, you don't need to have read the first to appreciate the second. Nor do you need to have any interest in pigs (phew! I hear you say). Saddleback Wife, with the subtitle Slow Food in Tasmania, is the story of a couple with admirable dreams of rearing Wessex Saddleback pigs and selling premium pork at bustling farmers markets each weekend. The pigs would live long and idyllic lives compared with their mass-farmed counterparts, and the customers would be agog for the delectable, superior pork product made from these happy creatures. It is the dream versus the reality. In fact, it reads like one of those Instagram posts that juxtaposes the glossy, colour-coordinated beauty of a photo with what it took to produce it. The warts-and-all, behind the scenes footage. 'Television lifestyle shows have a lot to answer for. They're responsible for many of the unexpected turns our married life has taken, and we've sourced many of our experimental ideas from them,' Fiona writes in the prologue. A newspaper article about Tasmania was impetus for the family's move to Australia, and the television series River Cottage was responsible for their interest in pigs soon after. 'As we sat on our sofa one evening, watching Hugh preparing a straw-filled birthing shed for his sows, Oliver turned to me. "We could keep those pigs in our bush block, you know," he said. I could have sworn I saw a light bulb flickering over his head.' Saddleback Wife gave me a great appreciation for farmers, particularly boutique-style farmers with high-end product for high-end prices. Her insights on rearing an animal that requires more time for less quantity, made me appreciate the price tags, not to mention the incredible amount of back-breaking work, tenacity and self-belief required to make a go at something they had never done before. At times, the memoir's accounts are frank to the point of being brutal. I'm not sure I would recommend this to someone who has just started a pig-farming operation. Then again, maybe it would help them avoid the same mistakes. In the end, I was grateful for a glimpse at reality. In a world where I make pork stir fry with meat sourced from a plastic tray bought from a supermarket, it's easy to forget that life is sacrificed for our appetites. Whether you're an avid carnivore or a vegan, or somewhere in-between, I think we can all agree that society would be enriched and somehow more intelligent if our our spending habits were more considered. This is a book for that. For understanding the backstory of our food, and allowing time to sit in that potentially uncomfortable place. Thankfully, it's told with Fiona's wry humour which makes it that bit more palatable. Oh, and did I mention there are recipes? The carbonara was a hit in my household! Find out more about Fiona Stocker, her books and her writing here.

  • Book Review: The Unearthed

    The Unearthed by Lenny Bartulin (Reviewed by Kate Jackson @kate_thebooklover) Tasmanian-born Lenny Bartulin is the author of five books and his latest, The Unearthed (Allen & Unwin), is the first of his I’ve read. I was drawn to the setting of the story in my own locality, as well as the fact that I enjoy a good mystery. Set mainly on the West Coast of Tasmania, in and around the townships of Strahan and Queenstown, there were some very familiar places mentioned throughout this book, like Hamer's Hotel in Strahan and the gravel football oval in Queenstown, giving the story a strong grounding and sense of atmosphere. Initially, on finishing the book, I had the strange feeling of not being sure what I thought, but the more I mulled it over, the more I feel it was actually cleverly done. It included several mysteries to be solved and, unlike crime novels I have read in the past, they aren’t solved in the traditional sense, almost allowing the reader to form their own conclusions. This book will make you stop and reflect on what you have just read. Told from multiple points of view and jumping between various timelines in the present day and 1950s, each part of the story reveals pieces of the mystery. When bones are found in the Tasmania wilderness, one of the main characters, Antonia Kovács, discovers through her work at FSST (Forensic Science Services Tasmania) that they are decades old. She has questions for her father, a now retired Police Inspector who had been stationed at Queenstown around the time, so she heads home to where he is now enjoying a quiet retirement in the harbourside township of Strahan. Meanwhile, Tom Pilar the other main character in the book, receives an inheritance. It’s from a man belonging to his past, a friend of his father's, though Tom can barely remember him. He travels from the mainland to Queenstown to get a better understanding of why he was receiving it. I felt the author's description of the drive from Hobart to Queenstown was spot on! There are flashbacks where we meet some post-war migrants and locals working in the mines. It’s through these flashbacks that the mysteries begin to unfold. I found it interesting how the mysteries were revealed, laughing to myself when I realised the clues I had clearly missed. I certainly won’t be a detective anytime soon! I enjoyed the local references; I could tell that the author had spent time in and around the areas described in the book. There has also been some extensive research undertaken into the lives of the migrant workers of the area in the early/mid 1900s. At 274 pages you can easily devour this in one sitting. The Unearthed was released in Australia on August 1st by Allen & Unwin, in paperback, e-book and audio. Kate Jackson is a prolific bookstagrammer and you can follow her reviews and snippets of life on Instagram @kate_thebooklover

  • Book Review: Home to Echidna Lane

    Home to Echidna Lane by Eva Scott (Reviewed by Kate Jackson @kate_thebooklover) Back in late 2021, Eva Scott and her family made the Coal River Valley their home after moving to Tasmania from Queensland and, excitingly, her 2023 release is set in the very area she now calls home. Her recent books have followed tropes from '90s romcoms and Home to Echidna Lane (Harper Collins Australia) is no different, drawing comparisons to the Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr movie Hope Floats. I couldn’t get enough of the local Tassie references. There were just so many moments this book made me smile due to the mention of something like a familiar place, the aurora australis, or even just a reference to the Tasmanian way of life. Although the main setting of the book, the town of Winton, is fictional, quite a few Southern Tasmanian towns and locations get a mention, like Richmond and Sorell—and even Eva’s favourite coffee shop, Czegs’ Café, makes a cameo. I just adored the characters in this book; Shane, a local lad, widower, a single father who makes a living walnut farming; and Lacey, Shane’s high school crush, is a local girl who only ever wanted to escape the small-town life for the glamour of the big city. Lacey finds herself back living with her parents in Echidna Lane after her perfect life crumbles live on television. She brings her two boys and a broken heart and it’s her parents and Shane that help to piece it back together. I really enjoyed the banter between Shane and Lacey, and the way they navigate through this new chapter in their lives. The minor characters also really added to the story. Lacey's father had me smiling with his bedtime stories. I loved the walnut-inspired recipes included at the end of chapters. I am definitely going to give some of them a try as they sound utterly delicious! First up will be the Sunday Lunch Tortellini with Burnt Butter, Sage and Walnuts. Chatting via Instagram, Eva has told me that this will be her last Rural Romance novel for a while, and I can say that without a doubt she has gone out with a bang. This one would have to be my favourite of her recent books. I have no doubt that Home to Echidna Lane will be very popular with Tassie readers and lovers of rural romance. Home to Echidna Lane, published by Harlequin Australia, is set for release on August 2 around Australia. Kate Jackson is a prolific bookstagrammer and you can follow her reviews and snippets of life on Instagram @kate_thebooklover

  • Children's Book Week themed trivia night

    The Tamar Valley Writer's Festival is hosting a Children's Book Week themed Trivia Night that you will NOT want to miss! In partnership with IBBY Australia and The Children’s Book Council of Australia - Tasmanian Branch, we want to celebrate classic children's books from across the years. There will be lots of prizes and we encourage you to come dressed as your favourite children's book character. THE DETAILS WHEN: Thursday August 24, 6:30pm for a 7pm start. WHERE: The Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston. COST: Tickets are $15 each. BOOKINGS: are essential, grab your tickets here. Tables of up to 8 people can be booked, but you are welcome to book in smaller numbers and we will place you in a team. If you would like to be on a specific team please answer the question when prompted during the booking process, and indicate your team leader/group name to make sure we pop you all together. DINNER Bookings for dinner at the The Royal Oak prior to trivia are encouraged, with a suggested booking time of 5:30pm. Bookings - (03) 63315346 DON'T FORGET... Come dressed as your favourite children's book character! Use your imagination, and join in the fun! We can't wait to see what you come up with.

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