Before flying back to the States, the lovely Harmony Verna, author of Daughter of Australia, is going to show us the sights down under! Let's see what delights await us in Western Australia!
And thank you all for touring with us!!!
Tucked within the diverse landscape of Western Australia, the Goldfields were a magnet for thousands of prospectors and other adventurers in the early 20th century. As in the California Goldrush in 1850, Western Australia boomed as men and mining companies flocked to find gold and fortune.
Unfortunately, many of the pioneers were not prepared for such an inhospitable land of searing heat, red earth and black flies.
Today, the real gems in this area are the towns of Leonora and Gwalia, the main points of interest including the magnificent Gwalia State Hotel, a large open cut mine, the old miners’ cottages and other commercial buildings, left by residents in December 1963 when the Sons of Gwalia Gold mine closed. A very special attraction is Hoover House, now a guest house, but originally built in 1898 as a home for the mine manager. Herbert Hoover, who commissioned the house was later to become 31st President of the United States of America.
A highlight for spring travelers? Every year, this barren desert land erupts in wildflowers in every hue imaginable.
Photos courtesy of Australia's Golden Outback
All about Daughter of Australia and Harmony Verna
In a stunning debut novel that evokes the epic scope of Colleen McCullough's classic The Thorn Birds, Harmony Verna creates a poignant, beautifully told story of love and courage, set in Australia and America in the early decades of the twentieth century.
The desert of Western Australia is vast and unforgiving. It's a miracle that the little girl dressed in rags and abandoned in the sand is still breathing when an old miner discovers her. Even more so that he is able to keep her alive long enough to bring her to the town from which she'll take her name: Leonora. Sent to an orphanage, mute with grief and fear, Leonora slowly bonds with another orphan, James, who fights to protect her until both are sent away--Leonora to a wealthy American family, James to relatives who have emigrated from Ireland to claim him.
Years later, Leonora is given a chance to return to her beloved Australia. There, in Wanjarri Downs, she will again come face to face with James, who's grown from a reticent boy into a strong, resourceful man. Only James knows the truth about Leonora--that her roots and her heart are here, among the gum trees and red earth. And they will fight to find a way back to each other, even as war, turmoil, and jealousy test their courage again and again.
Sweeping in scale yet filled with intricately drawn characters and vivid details that conjure the fascinating setting, Daughter of Australia is storytelling at its most exhilarating and rewarding.
Throughout her twenty year career in communications, Harmony Verna has worked with all media facets: radio, television, magazines, newspapers, public relations, advertising and marketing. As a freelance writer, she has written scripts for the Food Network and articles for Modern Bride Magazine, Connecticut Woman Magazine and more. DAUGHTER OF AUSTRALIA was a final round selection for the James Jones First Novel Contest. Verna lives in Newtown, Connecticut, with her husband and their three young boys.