Blog Tour – Hope’s Road by Margareta Osborne

Hope's Road Cover Image

Montmorency Downs has been in Tammy McCauley’s family for five generations. The land, and all it has to offer, flows through her veins, and she couldn’t imagine any other life. When her abusive husband walks out, he strikes where it hurts most, and Tammy is forced to do something she never imagined she could do.

Joe McCauley has long been estranged from his family. Sixty years ago he walked out on his parents and brother, and never looked back. He now lives alone on McCauleys Hill, widowed, with no friends or family to rely on. When he falls and breaks his hip, he is forced to rely on his neighbours and great-niece – who he has never spoken to – to avoid being placed in a home.

Travis Hunter is struggling to adapt to the role of single father. A dog trapper who hasn’t spoken to his brother in years, he is attempting to suppress growing feelings for Tammy and trying to be a father – but doesn’t know how to. Still heartbroken from his wife walking out on him, he finds it hard to let anyone in, especially his ten year old son, Billy.

When a massive flood threatens their land and lives, they must come together under the most difficult of circumstances to save each other.

Hope’s Road is the second novel by Margareta Osborne, a fifth generation farmer who has lived on the land all her life. If I had not been given the opportunity to participate in this blog tour by Random House I may never have discovered Margareta Osborne or Hope’s Road.

Hope’s Road is a rural romance, but it is so much more than that. It is a story of a family saga, domestic violence, whilst also addressing issues of aged care and custody of children after a marriage breakdown.

The characters and their situations are believeable, from Tammy the hardworking landowner, Joe the grumpy old man who is a virtual recluse and Travis the dog trapper who is trying to raise his son, Billy. They are joined by a colourful cast of characters who help to make this story what it is.

This review was part of the Random House blog tour, you can check out other reviews of this great read at these blogs: This Charming Mum or Sam Still Reading or if you are interested in a sneak peak of the book you can read the first couple of chapters here.



Shallow Breath – Sara Foster – Book Giveaway

Shallow BreathTwo years ago, Desi Priest made a horrific mistake and destroyed her family.
Now, she is coming home to make amends: to her daughter, Maya, who’s nurturing her own dangerous plan; to her brother, Jackson, who blames himself; and to her close friend, Pete, who has spent years shielding her from a devastating truth.
But as Desi returns to her beloved house by the ocean, there is a stranger waiting for her. Someone who needs her help. Someone whose arrival will reveal a chain of secrets hidden for over twenty years.
And one by one the family will be forced to confront the possibility that they have somehow got things
terribly, tragically wrong …
 Set across five continents, Shallow Breath is a compelling novel of dashed dreams and second
chances. But most of all it is a story about love, and what it really means to be free.

I was intrigued when I heard that Sara had a new novel that was set in Western Australia and in particular Atlantis – a marine park that operated in the 80’s – that I visited in my teens. It certainly didn’t disappoint. From the moment I picked up the book, I didn’t want to put it down.

Shallow Breath is a well researched and thought provoking novel. Told from the perspective of several of the integral characters, whose lives and stories interconnect, the story unfolds and truths are revealed.

5 Minutes with Sara Foster

Sara Foster hires2

Where did the inspiration for Shallow Breath come from?

The story developed in a number of ways. I always had an image of a woman standing on the balcony of her small house, looking out across the water. I knew she was strongly connected to the ocean, and I also knew she was deeply unhappy and searching for something, but it took a while to unpack her story. I was also inspired by an encounter I had with a minke whale nearly 14 years ago – I had been on a dive and was about to get back on the boat, when I looked under water and this whale was less than an arm’s width from me. I swam with it for only a minute or so, but it was an incredible experience, making this fleeting connection with a creature so different to me.

I was intrigued when I first heard about Shallow Breath being set in WA and in particular Atlantis Marine Park, as I grew up in Perth and made many trips to Atlantis over the years. Reading the novel it brought back many memories of those times. Did you visit Atlantis during that time? If so, what are your memories?

No, I didn’t visit Atlantis, and this was a challenge for me in the story, as many people in Western Australia have very strong, happy memories of the place, and so I wanted to do it justice. I worked as hard as I could to build up the picture of Atlantis as it was back then, by talking to people who visited and worked there, by looking through the archives of a few different libraries, and by visiting the site as it is today. I even found a clip of an Atlantis dolphin show on YouTube. I hope I have succeeded in bringing it back to life in the novel.

Is there going to be a sequel to Shallow Breath?

Possibly. I didn’t want a happy, rounded ending to Shallow Breath, as I didn’t feel it would be fair on the subject matter or the character dilemmas to neatly resolve things. However, as a result, most of the characters have been left in very interesting, in some cases extremely dramatic, moments in their lives. I do know what happens next, and I may go back to that, but there are a couple of other stories I’m hoping to tell first.

What are you reading right now?

I have just finished reading The Secret River by Kate Grenville, which I loved, and also Searching for the Secret River, which was a fascinating glimpse into the construction of the novel.

Thanks for visiting The 4Ravens Reading Room, Sara.

Thank you very much for inviting me!

To learn more about the story behind Shallow Breath, check out this link.

Thanks to the lovely people at Random House, I have a copy of Shallow Breath to give away. Leave a comment below to be in the draw.

Read-along: Lifesaving for Beginners – Ciara Geraghty


I’m participating in a read-along of Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty, thanks to Hachette over the next three weeks. The lovely Bree at All the Books I Can Read is hosting the online discussion. You can join the discussion about the first section of the book here – WARNING it does contain SPOILERS.

I’m enjoying this book so far – nine year old Milo is my favourite of the two narrators, Kat I find a little annoying – I have a suspicion that the book is getting a little bit predictable, I hope I’m wrong. Be sure to stop back for my review of the novel.

A Life in Parts – by Vicki Bennington & Daniel Brannan

a life in parts

Two weeks before Christmas 2001 Loretta Goebel was a stay at home wife and
mother, wrapping Christmas gifts, she knocked her hand on a banister as she
rushed to the door. This innocuous injury ultimately lead to the amputation of
both of Loretta’s legs, her left hand and most of the fingers on her right hand.

Anyone facing these life-altering circumstances might have let it define them, not Loretta, her fierce independence and resilience helped her return to living the best life she can.

These turn of events result in an unlikely friendship with Heather Mills and Paul McCartney, who were instrumental in assisting Loretta to obtain suitable prosthetic limbs.

I sat down and read this book in one sitting, I was awed by the sheer determination and
resilience shown by Loretta. It made me laugh and cry in turn. When I finished
reading my first thought was that I don’t have much to complain about in my life.

The thing that remained with me after I had finished reading was Loretta’s motto: “If you didn’t know my story, you wouldn’t know my loss.” I found this a very poignant statement, we can never truly know what another person has lost. Though Loretta’s loss was devastating, she did not let it define her, instead she has gone on to rebuild her life and help others. Loretta is an inspiration.

This copy was provided by Stonebrook Publishing for review.

This I know – Notes on Unravelling the Heart by Susannah Conway

thisiknowbookThis book is part memoir, part guidebook for navigating loss and rediscovering the self. Most of all it is like sitting down for a chat with a girlfriend over coffee.

Susannah Conway is a photographer and writer sharing her grief journey after the sudden and unexpected death of the man she loved. In the aftermath of her loss, she found herself, rediscovered her love of photography and in the process found a way to help women the world over.

Susannah explains that she “devised a class that used the camera as a tool to reconnect with the self via photo assignments and journaling exercises.” The result was the Unravelling: Ways of Seeing Myself e-course.

“Unravelling is not a bad thing. It is not coming undone or losing control. It’s letting go in the best possible way. Untangling the knots that hold you back, unwrapping the gifts you’ve hidden for too long, unearthing the potential that’s always been there, finally ditching the labels and should-haves and letting yourself be what you were always meant to be.”

As a bereaved parent – I have experienced the death of 4 sons – I could identify with Susannah’s experience and I found myself nodding my head as I read certain passages. As she says: “Each person experiences grief in their own individual way. And though I have thought to lose a child would be the most devastating loss of all, there is no hierarchy of to grief – only we can know the pain we feel and what we have lost.”

Each chapter of the book is followed by a reflection, a creative exercise to help you reconnect with yourself. My favourite is the small treats – 20 treats that bring you joy. Susannah’s beautiful Polaroid’s are interspersed throughout the book.

The book reaches such a wide audience, those that have experienced a loss, creatives, and those wanting to reconnect with themselves.

I highly recommend Susannah’s book to anyone who has experienced a loss and is struggling to find their way. “We do survive. And then we thrive.”

This review was originally published here at Exhale Literary Magazine